Thursday, December 29, 2005

Book Quotient

So when I flew up to Vancity I had a couple of particularly boxy Christmas gifts in my bag, but when I fly down again to L-dot, I plan to have books filling up that space.

And not books on film, no. All you well-meaning people who gift me with heavy books on movies, thank you, god bless you, but the last thing I want to turn my attention to these days are books about movies. Blah blah blah movies. I want novels. I only watch movies to get things you can't put down in print (except in novels, stories, poems) anyway. I actually think we all do. And books called "Film School... In A Book!", well. Novelty, yes. But, not to get all braggy, I'm too busy taking classes from, uh, Oscar-winners to read that stuff right now. But the thought, is, yes, appreciated.

Also, I'm starting to think that my Big Plan of making myself Extremely Busy during the spring by taking Twelve Credits and working Two Jobs may actually be really stupid. It's true that being busy in L.A. equals being happy for me, but now that I think of it, being insane in L.A. equals behing unhappy for me.

Les holidays were fantastic. So many babies around.

My smaller small cousin has turned from a three-year-old boy who refused to speak and instead made rrnnnnnnnghhh sounds like Frankenstein and shoved people a lot into a six-and-a-half-year-old-boy that brings Christmas presents and spontaneously hugs and says "I love you" a lot. My less small small cousin is now eleven and reads more and is less shy now. I gave her a fantastic book a couple years ago called "The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle" about a girl who joins a band of pirates. Her teacher said it ws inappropriate to read in class. Her teacher is crazy.

I got a nice watch for Christmas. And the most incredible t-shirt ever. And a tea cosy.

I just had dinner with high school friends and no one could finish a story because everyone kept interrupting. We know each other too well to be formal, but not at all anymore because you never hear a complete tale. And I think to some degree we all kind of hate each other. The way you hate people who have witnessed you in all your ugly ducklingness and you them but you don't really talk about it. Weird. Though not unpleasant per se. I think we all still get together out of old loyalty, nostalgia, and curiosity.

It's rainy and the clouds make shapes.

Friday, December 23, 2005


Also, after reading pages from Jeremy's Feng Shui book I can't stop thinking about my colon. Merry Christmas!

The Oncoming Tide of Yule

A good gift, Christmas or otherwise, is something that you want but you wouldn't buy for yourself. Hence anything called a "gift store" is sure to be full of all kinds of mostly useless doohickeys. Now, luckily for anyone getting me a gift, there are currently a whole bunch of things that fit this category, including most meat products at the grocery store and more than one kind of cheese at a time. And, you know, shoes, haircuts, all those things that seem so expensive as to ultimately be unnecessry when you are spending a lot of money on tuition and not taking very much in in wages.

In the past week, I have discovered the new Marshall (Family) Plan of Christmas shopping. Go in the store, follow the person around, get them to try on things, consult with them over size, discuss which colour they like and then tell them to go find their mother. Meet up with them in five minutes carrying a bag with the name of the store you were both just in on it. Continue to the next store.

This is completely unsubtle and yet so brilliant I can't get over it. As my mother will eagerly attest, I'm a picky bugger to shop for, especially for clothes (cf: arguments over how fabric should behave when covering one's posterior, Summer 2005) and this just solves everthing so neatly.

And anyway, the thrill of opening the unknown is highly overrated. Like when I was in Japan and for Christmas I just wanted my mom to send me own belongings, rather than random new stuff. Anyway, my mom's penchant for hiding unwrapped presents under the bed of the person she's going to give them to often spoils that. This kind of shopping is smart in the same way premarital sex is smart. Both also fun to boot.

And if any of you still haven't got presents for people... give up and get them a donation to a charity already! At this point you're desperate and you'll just end up buying crap so you might as well buy shoes for kids in Pakistan instead.

World Vision
Red Cross
United Way
The Harvest Project

Friday, December 16, 2005

Model Children

On Tuesday, I spent more time at LAX (or, as Sarah calls it, the ninth circle of hell) than actually flying. I spent forty-five minutes in the bookstore alone. In the lounge groups of little kids were playing around, getting their ya-yas out before being confined in a cramped metal tube with lots of disapproving adults. One small girl started making the most amazingly loud noise of discontent. Howling that would have made Ginsberg proud. When I turned around to look at her she even seemed amazed at herself that that big noise was coming out of her small body. The family looked a wee embarrassed.

On the plane I sat next to the most wonderfully earnest kid. He was wearing an "Incredibles" jersy with a five on the back (which makes him the firey baby?) and was about 12. He said please and thank you and excuse me in his gravelly voice. He watched the nature channel (on the tv on the back of the seat in front of him) all the way north and kept pointing out things the animals were doing to his dad, who had no interest at all in that, or in the snow patterns visible out the window, which were also fascinating to the kid. At one point we were flying over some very cool-looking volcanic mountains with perfect cone tops covered with snow and I tapped him on the shoulder to look. He said he always thought volcanos were islands, we talked about Hawaii, looked out the window some more and then he said, "thank you for showing me that." I'll bet he has a lot of balsa wood dinosaur skeletons at home.

I went in to my mom's grade four classroom on Wednesday morning. I got to stamp all their day planners and hear a bunch of oral reports on sea life (the sea anemome is sometimes called a pincushion; great blue herons can fly 30 miles an hour for 15 miles) and chat about movie-making. They wanted to know what actually goes down when the film melts on the projector and how they do stop-motion animation. Looking at that classroom of happy little kids engaged in active learning with an excellent teacher, I again resolved to try and make a lot of money if at all possible, so my kids could have an education like that.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Quick Tale of Shame

The other night I had to eat drive-through food because I didn't have any time to have a normal human meal and a homeless man called me "Supermom".

Yeah, I thought you'd like that.

Two Minutes for Travelling, Five Minutes for Holding

Hi. So tonight I tried hard to eat all the things in my fridge that will be rotten in three weeks time when I get back to LA. For dinner, I had: tomato soup, a hard-boiled egg, some spinach in an onion-garlic concoction, red peppers, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Ice cream. I packed in all these veggies while watching a screener of Wallace and Gromit, Were-Rabbit, which has a strong over-indulging-on-vegetables theme and also includes some really fantastic rabbits with pig noses who say "wheeee" and wave a lot and eat carrots vorasciously.

I should go on plane trips more often. The morass of my inability to motivate myself into any gear but putt-putt-yawwwwn has evaporated in the face of impending travel. I did my backlog of dishes, I tidied my room (finally), I packed, I took care of a bunch of bills, I wrote several emails I'd been meaning to write, I sorted through some files, I set up instructions for watering the plants and I generally was very orderly and organised. I think one of the things that is so damn satisfying about travel is that it's so orderly and easy (usually) to do all the things you need to do to pull everything off. Especially when travelling alone, I feel like a complete person, self-contained, on a clear trajectory through the world which offers up washrooms, notice boards, and lunch so that all my mundane needs are met. Travel in the Western world is an excercise in the beauty of infastructure.

The immense pleasure I get from being a good traveller is the same immense pleasure I have from having a well-ordered and small bedroom or office. It's so simple to know the right thing and do it.

Unlike everything else in life.

And the thought of all the people in Vancouver for me is such a warm thought. Yes, LA is full of people who delight me, but Vancouver is full of people that I've known since I used to be a union worker, since I used to write papers on Beowulf, since grade seven homeroom, since I was born. People who won't let me get away with bullshit, unless it's our own special brand of homegrown bullshit.

And there's also skiing, watching people watch hockey games, the trees in the damp cold and that ugly winter light.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Movies About Dancing

Doretta finished her thesis and handed it in. We here on the west coast are celebrating by making lemonade from concentrate and drinking the whole jug of it before bed, although that would amount to eighty percent of our total daily recommended carbs (it's the sugar, Jim) so maybe a couple glasses of lemonade and then water. In any case, sorry I wasn't there to make you lemonade from concentrate and take you out on daily walks while you were writing kid, hope the handcream-by-post made up for it.

This weekend, or I guess since Wednesday night, has been a hot-faced blur of flu. Today I hauled my carcass out of bed at 7:20 to go shoot my final directing class project. It's possible that being ill while having to direct is a good thing for me, because I have energy and focus for very few things, not including remembering the actors' (or their characters') names. So instead of making overly fussy, mega-specific comments as I usually do, I let my previous overly fussy, mega-specific comments from rehearsal percolate into good performances of a fantastic script from three decent actors. I should do this every time I have to direct something: rehearse in lucid sobriety, and shoot in the dreamy haze of fever and exhaustion. Anyway, more and more, I am convinced that the secret of working with actors is not unlike the secret of working with horses: be the master or get kicked. I've stopped trying to be nice and friendly with actors and now I just make sure they know it's my show. Which is itself often an act, but if there's anything an actor likes it's acting games.

Speaking of movies, and you'll forgive me because I don't often speak of movies, partly because nothing is more boring than someone who makes or studies movies and only talks about movies and also because movies aren't often all that interesting, I saw a fantastic movie that I would like to recommend called "That's The Way I Like It". If you love Singapore, and superhot pants from the 70s with the waistband around the bottom of the ribcage, and fairly convincing covers of the entire soundtrack of "Saturday Night Fever", and supermarkets in Asia called "Oriental Emporium", and lots and lots of hot disco, Netflix this film or get it from Videomatica, because it's very unlikely it will be in your neighbourhood DVD rack.

I also watched "Breakin'" and "Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo" tonight. Which somehow I never saw before. There was so much hotness that at times I felt like the guy in "Legend of the Lost Ark" whose face melts. How could I have missed these movies? Huge swaths of missing cultural understanding fell into place upon their viewing. "Bring It On"? "Zoolander"? Bow, BOW before the wonder that is the "Breakin'" films. Is the second one not set in Echo Park? Boogaloo Shrimp, why did you not tell me?

Friday, December 02, 2005


One thing you should all definately not do is go to job interview when you have a fever because you will ramble nonsensically and get sweaty and probably look completely terrible, not to mention infectious and all the crisp-shirt, nice-shoes and watch wearing in the world can't bail you out from coming across like a crazy person.

Although, one of my super-skills (besides finding clothes on sale) is keeping it all together in a sober-type way even when pretty drunk, especially in front of authority figures. So maybe it was not as bad as I think I remember. Oh dear.

I'm off to put my eyeballs in a cold glass of gingerale.

Friday, November 25, 2005


So apart from walking into a house that smells like cooking turkey, I like the part about Thanksgiving where you go around and everyone says what they are thankful for. It is, I think, the nucleus of Thanksgiving Day. Like how the minute of silence is the nucleus of Remembrance Day, the singing and candle-blowing is the nucleus of the birthday, and walking across the stage and getting the paper is the nucleus of graduation. The moment it happens.

I had a found-family Thanksgiving last night in which a bunch of people got together with their friends to do what they usually do with their families. I've had a Christmas like this before and it's a weird but good way to spend a holiday.

Anyway, the thing that I am thankful for is making stuff. Because I don't know if there are any other creatures out there besides humans who make stuff just for fun. And time and time again I save my own psychological bacon by making stuff. Pictures or little books. Things for the wall, things to send in the mail, things to wear. Cloth and paper, pens and paint. The feeling I get in the middle of making stuff is the same feeling I get when I rub my face for a long time: my brain goes into soft mode, or the front of it goes into soft mode so I can hear the back part.

The other day I was talking to Rajeev in the recording booth of the ADR room and I realised that we were making a movie, in the same way that I make stuff sitting on my bedroom floor. This seems obvious, but it hadn't occured to me to think about our movie like that in a really long time. Man, I love making stuff. I have to remember more often that that is what I am doing.

I'm also thankful for other people making stuff, especially when you can really tell someone made it. Like music or writing, and sometimes movies.

I'm also thankful for not getting a parking ticket this morning.

It's just too bad that Thanksgiving's history is couched in screwing over the First Nations people.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

More Great Visitors to SPO

Today a man came in to work to ask about posting up for sale ads for his motorcycle (cheesy, green, kawasaki) and various pieces of film-ish equipment. He was scruffy in that hippie way that you initially mistake for homelessness.

Except for his sport-sandaled feet bearing french manicured toenails.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


I just finished reading the 6th Harry Potter book. Now, let me put aside my indignation at the depiction of an evil character who has put part of his soul into a ring so that he's somewhat immortal, let me put that aside, and also the depiction of a doorway in a stone wall that shines out as lines of silver in a certain kind of light and of dead bodies with scary eyes floating just below the surface of stagnant water and even the depiction (SPOILER) of a certain kind of character dying in a certain kind of way, let me put all those fairly unimaginative thefts aside and share with you my theory on the HP phenomenon.

These books are like crack, as Dorrie once put it (even going so far as to describe her small cousin as our dealer). Yes. Okay, the genius of J.K. lies in her ability to combine certain elements of stories in such a way to keep the reader constantly enthralled. Everybody loves an underdog story because we see ourselves that way. Everybody loves a school story because school is a microcosm for the real world in which events are simultaneously world-ending and also insignificant. And we all romanticize our school times of the past, not to mention our so-painful-at-the-time adolesence. Thanks to colonialism, everyone more or less loves stories about the pluck of English children, especially if they refer to jumpers and wellies. And most of all, everyone loves a story in which their are constantly new rules of reality being written to boost our heros to greater and more interesting heights.

And Rowling has also plundered a lot of literary tradition to add compelling details to her tale. Not just Lord of the Rings, but a lot of other major fantasy works, as well as folklore, fairytales, horror movies, and, increasingly, sitcoms.

And she weaves it all with impressive skill.

Why, then, does reading any one of her books, with the possible exception of the first one, leave me cold? Admittedly, I keep reading, kinda voraciously, but I've also noticed I read them very lightly, skipping over paragraphs of description and straight on to dialogue or revealing plot points. Hmmmm, just like reading a ... script? Yep, Rowling's plots are interesting, her gags are pretty delightful, and her characters are well-drawn. But her description is often cliched and coarse and, most importantly of all, her stories have little to no inner life. Like a movie script without actors, director, images, lights, sounds.

This wouldn't bother me so much if it I didn't know about the many many children who polish one of her 600 pagers off in three days and don't read anything else for the rest of the year.

Having recently returned to reading after too long, it's a relief to again be plunged into an art form that requires an investment from me for it to really work. Well-written literature invites me in as an observer and a thinker. Well-written children's literature does the same. Rowling invites me to pick which offhand piece of knowledge from book four will turn the plot in book six, but that's hardly the same thing. A good plot does not necessarily make for a good book, although you will slog through all kinds of bad writing to find out what happens in the end. But a world in which we all escape from dragons (but just barely) and every broken nose can be healed with the swish of a wand and all punches can ultimately be rolled with is just too easy, like the books themselves. And all the magical candy gags in the world can't make it interesting.

I will say that the directors of the third and forth films have improved considerably on their source material.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Lately the quality of my day has been easily affected by the quality of my hair for the day, which in turn lives or dies on how well I part my hair. It all comes down to the post-shower a.m. moment of drawing the edge of the comb in a line across my scalp. Will I accomodate the cowlick? Or have a chunk sticking up in the back? Will I finish with too much hair on one side of my head and not enough on the other? As my haircut grows out into increasingly unstructured floppiness, the part is the only thing I can hang on to. And knowing how my hair is coming off somehow causes my whole day to follow suit. Just put it in a ponytail = can't get it together = dropping food on crotch of pants at lunch. Or forgetting to go to the bank. Or taking the wrong freeway. When someone told me a couple days ago that my hair looked nice, I told her that if you can get the part right, all harmony of life will flow from that. She thought I was kidding but I wasn't.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Reach! For! The! Brie!

On Saturday I had a meal in a house sitting at a proper table with other people. Alex and Kat and Eric concocted an orgiastic smorgasboard of eggs and cheese and bread and everything else that is good with the world. Sarah and I were the happy guests. I think the last time I sat and ate food at a table with other people in a house was breakfast at my house just before I drove out of Vancouver to come to LA in July. Delightful.

Especially compared to the things that I constantly eat because they are easy to pack in lunches: yogurt (boring), nuts (ugh), carrots (mealy, and involves cow-like chewing), apple (never end up eating it), cliff bar (uuuuuugh). I've been eating the same lunch, give or take a few elements, for a year and a half (give or take a few summer months). I need some sort of lunch revolution in which I discover a whole new set of cheap, healthy, easy things to pack in my food sack every day. They need to invent a new vegetable that is handy and small and pre-cut and cheap. Maybe I'll starting hardboiling eggs a lot. And then have a Ramona Quimby episode.

I just played a song that I've had in my head all day (Light & Day of the Polyphonic Spree, with the video from E Sunshine of the S Mind with all of the funny things like clocks and potato people singing the words; euphoric) really loudly. Which is bad apartment karma (12:12am), but what is better than playing a song you are obsessed with really Really REALLY LOUD!!!!



Monday, November 07, 2005

Foot Wisdom

The best part about having cute socks is matching them all up when they are fresh out of the dryer. The worst part about having cute socks is when they get too old and thin and holey and you have to turn them into rags.

And Uggs are just moonboots in suede, okay? To 99% of Ugg-wearers: y'all look goofy. Though, as a moonboot fan, I can appreciate how they feel like having pillows wrapped around your feet.

What I'm waiting for is when we see transvestites at Highland and Vine decked out in these.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Rain on lens
Rain on lens
Boom in frame
All is ruin
Let's call it a day.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Bugs In Jars and All's Right With The World

What better joy is there to make a trap for fruit flies involving a jar, a paper funnel and some tape with a piece of banana soaked in vinegar as bait, leaving for work, and then coming home to find all of those disgusting little fuckers trapped inside the jar, drunk on banana but repentant and trying to get out. Ha! Now I can leave cut-up food on the counter and go to the other room to get something without imagining your filthy little bug feet all over it.

I attribute my slightly sadistic feelings regarding the bugs in question here to a science experiment in grade seven in which we put tiny translucent bugs called daphnes under the microscope and dropped more and more eyedrops of caffeine on them under their little hearts beat so fast that they died. I have never met or heard of anyone called Daphne without thinking of this experiment.

Okay, maybe the joy of having tiny trick-or-treaters knock at your door wearing costumes full of fake bulging muscles competes with the joy of the fruit fly trap. Especially when you ask them what they are dressed up as and they say something so softly and mumbly you can't even tell if it's english or spanish.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


I saw a scary car up in Hollywood on the morning of Wednesday the 19th. Looks like someone else saw it too.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Nice Skin... Terrible Movie

One of the incidentals I like most about the crew experience is how when you get further into the jungle of production everyone's skin goes to shit. Seeing the dark eye circles and developing zits of my fellow crew members makes me feel better about my own set. On Saturday it was pointed out to me that my eye sockets had sections of skin that were blue like pool cue chalk. It is when I see my peers staggering around Lucas looking like death that I really know they are doing a great job.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Gorillas in the Mist

This weekend we shot our pickups back in the fair town of Sunland, which is probably technically a suburb, but is so un-LA-like in terms of the people that live there being nice that it feels more appropriate to refer to it as a town.

Our crew was there at what was supposed to be the crack of dawn, but was instead the crack of an overall misty greyness that made the hills look like Japan.

We were shooting on the front lawn of this house up the street from an elementary school. There was some kind of Halloween fair at the school all day, so our touching early morning mother and child reunion had strings of "Eight Days A Week" and "Hard Days Night" in the background (maybe it was a Beatles carnival?). Little kids in costumes were spotted being walked to and from the fair.

So we're shooting and this kid walks up and we all know this kid. This is the fat kid whose shorts are too short and whose legs are yet somehow too skinny and who has a flat-footed kind of walk and no art whatsoever in interacting with other humans. In this case, she had two eyes, a nose, and a giant bright orange stain for a mouth, an orange which continued down the front of her t-shirt. Had some punch at the fair, no doubt. She carried a gorilla mask under her arm. She stood there for a while, and then Molly saw her and said hello and she asked if we were making a movie and Molly said yes and Molly asked if she had been at the carnival and she said no, she'd been at the festival.

Then she walked away.

If I had been captain of the camera ship I would have snagged her for a cameo, because no one gets that much punch dye up to their nostrils, out to their cheeks and down over their chin like a kid like that.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Colour Me Disappointed

This is saddening news.

Because the only thing better, and more appropriately Canadian, than Martha rowing a giant pumpkin across a lake for jollies would be Martha rowing a giant pumpkin across a lake for jollies in horrible weather. I like how her helper elf had to do it instead.

At least they refer to her as an ex-felon. Thank you, CBC.

I Haven't Left The House All Day: Awesome

Today has been all about harnessing my avoidance tendencies to get things done. They might not be the things I ought to be doing, no, but at least they are something. There's nothing like a deadline for a piece of writing to make me clean my room with a rabid kind of thoroughness. I just dusted the base of my desk lamp (and it was fillllthy).

But today, I have employed the strategy that only works when you have a whole bunch of stuff to get done: procrastinate on doing what it is you have to do by doing something else you have do. It totally works! Especially if you take breaks for tea, dancing and to look at the Martha Stewart website for advice on succulents.

Completely unrelated, but no less uninteresting: when location scouting in Sunland, Sierra Madre and north Pasadena (basically the freeway-accessed suburban areas to the north and east of L.A.) we frequently came across a whole buncha peacocks. Constantly and randomly. Like, walking down the middle of a street, or perched all over a house. Apparently someone in that area many moons ago had a lot of peacocks and either they escaped or were released and now they wander and squak all over place in those hills and driveways up there. Have you ever heard a peacock call? It sounds like someone being stabbed in the neck. FYI if you were planning to live there. Or shoot. Ha ha.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Tears for Nerds

An exchange from work Monday:

Me: (sitting, listening to the Mad World cover from Donnie Darko)

Angry Nerd: This a good song, have you heard the original version?

Me: Yup. I've actually got the tape in my car.

Angry Nerd: You have an original copy of The Hurting?

Me: Uh, no, I've got the one with the sun on the cover.

Angry Nerd: Oh. The complilation.

(Angry Nerd leaves)

I really feel like I let the guy down with not knowing more about Tears for Fears, but really, was my crime of owning a compilation album so grave that he had to abort the conversation so abruptly?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Dreams CAN Come True!


A Good Thing

O Globe and Mail website, sometimes your daily polls are a little stodgy, not unlike the nation you report to, but sometimes you really outdo yourself.

"Is it okay with you if convicted criminal Martha Stewart comes to Canada to row a giant pumpkin?"

What does this even mean? Like, row, with an oar? Or plant in a row? And a giant pumpkin: how giant? Hollowed out and giant and Martha in it and rowing like mad down the St. Lawrence?

I fucking hope so! Think how entertaining that would be! Yes! Yes! How could you vote no to that?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Why I Am A Humanist

Yesterday I was at work behind the desk in the Student Production Office and this very boring looking guy walks in, 30-something, boring hair, boring suit, nice-looking boring face with a placid smile to ask me about an address in the cinema complex. He points me to his notepad with the building and room on it and that's when I see he has the most awesomely ridiculous goth ring on: silver, takes up the entire first segment of his middle finger, lots of curlicues and bumps and christened with a giant blue cat's eye in the middle.

Is this what happened to the goths? I thought they had died out completely and I miss their extreme intensity (there's something so teenaged and therefore nostalgic about that kind of intensity) but maybe they just got haircuts and suits?

The man yesterday made me really happy with his massively intense ring. The passion of the goth lives on!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Barn Door

Twice in the past seven days I have been halfway through the morning and realized my fly was open.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


About four weeks ago, I decided that I was going to teach myself to meditate. By, you know, reading up on it a bit and practising every day. That lasted for about two days. I really would like to be able to meditate, I think if I forced my brain into a regimen of this kind of focus that I'd be a more relaxed person and generally feel more in control. These days, it's too hard to differentiate between meditation and sleep. Or, you know, not let one slip into the other.

But to that end, I have been trying to think of an idea for a script, and given my serious misgivings about the inauthenticity of most of the stuff we see on screens these days, and given the fact that I recently printed up the Dogme 95 Vow of Chastity and stuck it to my wall, it is not such an easy thing to dream up a producable (and that's KEY) short script that is at once hyper-realistic and complete fantasy at the same time.

And yet, it's like I wrote my order down and popped it into a slot in my head and three days later I get an idea. Because I did, last night, get an idea. To the point where I had to wake up a little and get my notebook and write it down (I also discovered that my room is so small I can get my book off the shelf, my pen out of my bag and crack a window to let some light through all without getting out of bed).

When I was around 13 or so I had the sensation that my brain was a seperate entity from me. Like: I didn't think of that, my brain did. That sensation has faded, but sometimes it still pops up. Sometimes I'm still proud of the way my brain recombines things into different things when I'm not looking and then pops them out fully formed. Like Athena! From the head of Zeus! What an idea!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Scorned As Timber, Beloved of The Sky

Lately, this is my favourite painting.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Can Man

The street in front of my house is busy for the narrow throughway that it is. We get a, like, smorgasboard sampler of street noise, mostly people who believe that one's car ought to be very noisy via music and no muffler, or people walking up and down, or kids playing very involved games that have something to do with the speed of a plastic trike coming along the sidewalk in one direction and someone else running in the other direction at the same time and everyone shouting.

But a constant, and by now familiar, sound is the can-crusher man.

He lives directly across the street and comes to stand on the sidewalk with the same regularity that wooden birds in swiss clocks display. He has a plastic bag of pop cans and he puts them on the sidewalk and rrrrreet, squishes them with his foot, one by one. There's a permanent wet stain on his sidewalk spot from leftover bits of drinks in the can.

rrrrreet ... rrrrreennt ... rrrrnt

That's what the afternoons sound like around here.

Once a can is squished it goes into a seperate bag. Once all the cans are squished, he recedes back behind the palms.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


I'm trying to think of how to describe the very specific kind of joy that comes from putting on a pair of pants you haven't worn in months and finding some mysterious shape in the pocket. It's a combination of the thrill that you could find something that you've been missing for so long that you've forgotten to look for it and the thrill of being a detective of your past self. In this evening's case, the mysterious shape was three American dollar bills and a square piece of notepaper with a rough map of Vermont and 7th and 8th streets in someone else's handwriting...

I've just remembered: this is from my old landlord when she was telling me where the key-cutting place was near her office so I could make my subletter his own set of keys.

So the last time I wore these pants was the end of April and the three dollars is the change from getting the keys cut. Change that technically belongs to her! Minor event, but it's still satisfying to the detective in me that I have these artifacts from this day.

I want to read The Mezzanine again.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Change One Thing Change Your Life

So there's this thing Oprah does where she has someone come in with, you know, life barriers, and then she changes something and then the shows about how all their problems went away as a result. Euphoric, right? I've never actually seen this kind of Oprah show, but I've heard it enacted many times by Janey (especially the show about the girl with the "unruly cowlick") to feel like I'm well-aquainted to the format.

While doing a massive pile of laundry today, I was thinking of this particular concept, the Change-One-Thing-Change-Your-Life thing, and people I know who have introduced me to One Thing that has Changed My Life.

Here we go:

Sarah- If you want to laugh in a movie theatre, go ahead and laugh. Loudly.

Jeremy- You don't have justify your existence to people who want to "know what you're up to" as long as you lie credibly.

Steve- How to spell "together".

Gill- You can wear the same clothes for four days running and your inherent sexiness will still speak for itself.

Genevieve- Mini Pearl.

Doretta- Drip dry it. All of it. And cute shoes are important.

Janey- It is possible to be so intellectually intimidating that everyone knows you but is afraid to talk to you and to simultaneously be very interested in recipies. Also, ironing.

Mom- The sleeve trick. And that it's all going to be okay.

Dad- If you want to win at Hearts, you have to be brave and go for control.

Katie- Draw on your clothes.

Angelo- All you need is a little down light, maybe a little fill...

Jordan- You can sing in the car even if someone else is there.

The BC Ferry Corporation- Money is a poor substitute for quality of life.

Trajan- Your life is right now.

The Nation of Japan- The rules are not necessarily made for your benefit, so you better figure out what you need and do what you have to do to get it.

Tobias- Being kind of an asshole is just fine. In fact, it's kind of great sometimes.

Dr. Kealy- Having your own ideas is more important than synthesizing the ideas of others.

Michael- Figure out how you want to do it and do it that way.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

ekx ekx ekx ekx ekx

I just wrote a long entry about how I'm sick of film and wish I could make music instead and would, these days, prefer to be doing things all by myself in public social spaces, and how Smog inspires me to work hard to not be a crap filmmaker (by not being a filmmaker at all). And how my head is folding in on itself because I'm trying to navigate the matrix of decisions that is a film but it's putting my brain on hold in this shocking way but that being invited to move to the country (just me and him) by Bill Calahan while he makes his pretty fucking great music made me think: I'll just make really incredibly realistic movies that are totally dull or utterly nonsensical movies that have no logic or reason.

It's better that it got lost, because it made no sense anyway.

Just like all my future films.

Friday, September 02, 2005

ABC, Talking About 123

I want to memorize the police letters alphabet. Just to be cool. My friend Katie, who was in LA for 13 hours today and whose hair I cut in my hallway this evening, had to memorize all of English's prepositions in elementary school and can still rattle them off. Me, I can do Frost's "Stopping by Woods On A Snowy Evening". Thanks Mr. Meikle!

When I sold tickets for BC Ferries, I used to have to call the tower to process dangerous goods paperwork and that invovled telling them license plate numbers over the intercom. I used to make up my own words for the letters, much to the amusement of the folks in the tower. "S as in.... syzygy", etc. The day a truck came through with the license plate "0069 BJ" my pause at trying to think of words other than the ones that automatically spring to mind inspired me to look into the official alphabet.

Once while driving with my mom, she noted the car's plate number in front of us was "007 BRF". She said, "License to ill!" and it was one of those moments when you are so proud that this is the person who gave birth to you.

I love looking at license plates. It's especially interesting in LA. Lately, I have noticed a lot other people looking at plates too. I was pulled up at the curb in the fashion district a few weeks ago and a man asked me if I was from Columbia, which was awesome. I see people checking out my bumper while I'm waiting for them to cross the street. I hope they, too, are wondering if I came from Columbia.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Clearing House Digest of Mostly Unrelated Outbox Items

So I'm TAing an acting class for the entering grad students and they are so cute and fresh and well-rested and I'm so thrilled for them and the ride they are about to go on, this must be what it feels to work on the ride for the Hollywood Hotel of Terror, strapping people in, and one student said something about how she was unable to do something because she busy and I said, "Welcome to film school" and was that a little too bitchy, for the first day? Perhaps.

It's so hot in my apartment that I am trying to understand how outrageously hot it is by imagining that it's really cold outside and just how insane the heat would feel if that were true, though sadly it's not really true. I'm trying to encourage the slightly cooler air to come in the windows by walking around a lot. It's not working.

Our bathroom sink has returned to our bosom and I brush my teeth in its welcoming bowl with such fond joy. The drain was distressingly sluggish when we moved in and plugged up completely after Events Which Will Not Be Discussed and today a man came with a big machine and pulled (are you ready for this?) giant clumps of Former Tenant Hair out of the pipes so the water could run clear again.

Last night in my first directing class I felt smug because I said something quite smart in only eight words and nothing else. I employ a strategy of saying almost nothing in the first class if I can. This is pretty snotty, considering how much I end up saying in class by the end of the term.

Yesterday I made an executive decision that I needed stationary supplies to do all the stuff I have to do and bought lots of exciting things like the very small, brightly coloured Post-Its and a pen and one of those plastic folders with file divider things. Man, I love office supplies.

I also love a proper Autumn, and mourn for the loss of another one of those glorious seasons of rain and leaves everywhere and being bundled and warm in the cold outdoor air.

In Pursuit of World Peace

Dear People of the World, and Particularly, My Neighbourhood:

Please please please please please, when parking your damn car, just scootch up to the end of the curb, will ya? Roll forward, roll back, just don't take up two spaces.

Driving around for 20 minutes at midnight just trying to find a place to leave my car so I can go to sleep is bad enough without the physiological manifestations of rage that I get at seeing your damn Saab stretching out with twelve feet of space off either bumper.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Shilling for Eisner

First, for all you people addicted to the SIMS: a cautionary tale.

Better by far to stick to real-life fun, or, in a pinch, Disneyland.

Yes, so, I spent two days at the Happiest Place on Earth and folks, I tell you, it pretty much lived up to the name. I was with my friends Rhonda and Jason and their daughter Zara (5). First up, do try to visit the magic kingdom with a half-pint. Even if they spend the duration of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride burrowing their head into your torso and screaming, so many other things are just so much more fun with a little kid. For example, watching their facial expression on rides is a source of entertainment all on its own.

[interjection: I just heard what I'm pretty sure was a gunshot. Silverlake, though it has its own charms, is NOT the happiest place on earth.]

The other great benefit of the small child action is how smart Disneyland is when it comes to accomodating what you, obviously, want to do. In the kid case, you want all the grownups to be able to go on the scary fast rides but not have to wait through the duration of two lineups while hanging with the kid. They make it very simple to for the babysitting grownup to jump the lineup. As a result, I got to go on a bunch of rides twice in a row, namely Space Mountain (redux) and the Matterhorn (I really want a similar fake icy peak in my backyard. No roller coaster necessary, just that pretty mountaintop, absurdly small.)

Jason and Rhonda and I enjoyed talking about how Disneyland Disneyland is. It's a strange sensation, and difficult to break down into component parts. Though not impossible. Insanely clean, that's one part. The ground really feels as if it is scrubbed, as Rhonda said, by Doozers all night long while everyone else is sleeping. Clover instead of grass, that's another (more lush, easier to keep green and lays closer to the ground). Steep entrance fees ensure that the people you see slumped on the ground outside the confectioners on Main Street USA are simply tuckered out tourists and if they smell of urine it's cause they're wearing diapers.

But Disneyland was fun. Fuuuuuuuun. You'd think there'd be some part of me filled with a churlish cynicism for all this, but really, there wasn't. As Jason said, Disneyland is the kind of thing Americans do best, and it's pretty spectacular.

My favourite part of the Disney adventure was walking with Zara through Frontierland on the way to the Winnie-the-Pooh ride and seeing a cowboy leaning against a post wearing riduculous furry chaps and then realising that I KNOW the cowboy and not in a Disney character way, in a that's-a-real-person-that-I-have-had-real-conversations-with-and-tied
-up-with-duct-tape way. Yes, it was Mr. Brian Jones, who was in my second 507 film and who is a very fine comic actor. He's a Disneyland cowboy on Fridays. I believe his name is "Clem".

But what can you say for a place that makes me so happy that I can see grown adults wearing tiaras and t-shirts and not feel annoyed?

"See you there"?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Through the Looking Glass (Wonderland II)

Despite the best efforts of that fiery ball of burning hotness, I did, in fact, make it to LA (thank you for sanity, music skills, calmness, conversation and taking the wheel, Mr. Jeremy).

I even moved and everything (no thanks: sun, thanks again: Jeremy). The best part about having Jeremy in town, besides him helping me carry stuff and me actually knowing a thing or two interesting to do in LA, was running into a celebrity on our second day in town. That's right, the hope you have for every visitor who comes to hang out is that you will see someone famous that matters to them. Well thank you 3rd and La Brea Trader Joe's. I'd never seen anyone more interesting there than the Hollywood Hills hoochies who get dressed up to grocery shop. But now, now I understand why they spend so much time in the freezer section wearing little else than a bra and a net poncho. Famous people!

Speaking of which, whilst attending a screening of 2046 at the Nuart with Mr.Golightly, Mr.Chung, Mr.Lane, and their associates, Mr. DeVito and Ms. Pearlman and family sat two rows ahead of us. During the trailers someone came and squatted next to the man's seat and talked to him for a while. Let's all hope it was someone he knew and not someone pitching. During trailers, no less!

Also, my new living space is very cute. I can take showers and watch the sunset at the same time.

Also, I got towed last week. Welcome to LA!

Also, I'm going to Disneyland tomorrow. You think this is a lie, but it is true.

Also, the La Brea Tar Pits are a George Saunders paradise of anamotronic beast action. In particular, the sabre tooth cat ("It's not a tiger!") attacking the sloth. Laughs, laughs and more laughs. And the whole thing stinks like tar.

That's all for now.

Monday, July 25, 2005

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

It will horrify some gourmands to read this, but I still think my favorite meal in the world involves rifling around in the fridge and eating whatever I feel like eating in whatever strange combinations of bread and sauce and meat and cheese and veg I come up with. I just had a late lunch/early dinner of cranberry-walnut bread and seafood sauce and some of those lime tortilla chips and some cranberry juice and ponderossa cake and leftover lamb.

While standing at the counter filling in some of the remaining clues in the crossword I've been working on for three days.

The best place to do this is my parents' fridge. I could write poems to their cheese drawer, for starters: asiago and havarti and goat and feta and cheddar and brie, oh my! And they have lots of sauces, which, as the wisest know, is the reason other foods exist: to be conduits for sauce!

Saturday, July 16, 2005


My parents live on a cul-de-sac (or, en anglais, a bag-end) and several years ago a developer bought this treed chunk of land behind the houses across the street. Dude paved a bridge over the creek and a road down there and then parceled the land up into tiny little plots and asked a whole bunch of money for them, which, unsurprisingly, has lead this little extra cul-de-sac off the cul-de-sac hidden in a happy little copse of trees to remain totally uninhabited.

Uninhabited except for the kids from the high school next door who go down there to smoke and the drug dealers who go down there sell fruit. Man, drug dealers, can't you lay low a little? Do you have to be so obvious about being drug dealers in every ounce of your being? No wonder you keep getting busted; speeding up a cul-de-sac to a deserted lane in a giant black shiny SUV with tinted windows at 11:30 at night. Hmmm, what's that about?

A couple days ago, someone put a big ol' metal gate across the entrance to the extra, uninhabited cul-de-sac. It's made of grey, galvanized metal and has a few small sections of yellowish tape on it. In short, very hard to see. Especially if you are going a good 60 clicks and taking the sharp, blind, right hand turn at an equivilantly high speed.

So I sit at my desk in my room across the street, waiting for the inevitable crash of black shiny dealer SUV on metal gate as the coke folk realise that their office in Sinclair Court may now be closed.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Whither Pimple?

Yesterday I was in North Van coffee shop and a guy that looked like John Denver (wedge, wire-rimmed glasses) walked in with a big, bulky, boxy thing in his arms. He walked along to the hallway to the bathrooms, lay the boxy thing on the floor, took the plastic off to reveal it to be a microwave, plugged it in and lay on his side beside it as he heated up his meal.

Also in this coffee shop was the most beautiful gaggle of teenagers I think I've ever seen. They all had insane hair and tiny asses and weird but hot outfits and a clarity of skin that I really don't remember from my own teenage years. Where was the kid with the forehead so shiny and bumpy and red? Where were the brace-faces? Nowhere to be seen. I know I always had at least one volcanic zit on the go. Has modern science made the old kind of teenager obsolete? Possibly.

Actually, I take it back. A lot of the folks we've been auditioning have been teenagers, and even though they are super-cute, they still obviously have a lot anxiety and body issues. Glad to know that this still endures, however free from zits they are.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Leaving The Cave

All I can say is those freaks with bombs picked the wrong damn city to hit if they were hoping for their intimidation to result in social or political change. Haven't they been to London and seen the giant pockmarks in the Victoria and Albert Museum? This city survived the Blitz, yo, if you think it's going to fold under some bombs, you have another thing coming.

I read almost the entire front section of the Globe and Mail today and there were many worthwhile articles, one of which pointed out something very useful to think about:


Because the world is a complex place. Just like democracy is a complex system. There are exceptions, there are anomolies, things change. There is nothing so administratively simple as a dictatorship

(or, as Shel Silverstein put it: "I've discovered a way to stay friends forever/There's really nothing to it/I simply tell you what to do/And you do it")

but strength is in plurality, diversity, difference and adaptation. The challenge is to manage to be wise enough to accept complexity.

Casting (About)

Right. So I'm working as an assistant to a casting director this summer. It's a great way to learn the minutae of one aspect of the world of film and the--what--maximi? (Sarah?) of the central idea that anyone who works in film is crazy, including me.

I have three stories, and we'll go in reverse chronological order, building up to the final and most exciting story. Think of each paragraph as an Act and each blank space as a Turning Point, kay?

In auditions yesterday afternoon for a indy feature, I got to be adminstrative with several vagely familiar faces and some quite familiar faces, including two people who are sorry the X-Files are over, namely Agent Alex Krychek and one of the Lone Gunmen (the one with the beard). I have a former roommate who probably scream aloud if I told her that I got to exchange words with Krychek as she was rather fanatically in love with him back in 1999 (see first paragraph). I also got to chat briefly with Dean Paul Gibson, a very good actor and director whose two plays, Hamlet and Rosencratz and Guildenstern Are Dead are opening at Bard on the Beach this week.

In auditions yesterday afternoon for an indy feature, one of roles was for this, like Indian Chief-type character. It was only when my office (ie: the waiting room) had several First Nations guys in it that I had time to read the sides, which included mentions of peace pipes and the Great Spirit. All I can say is, if it were me going into that audition, I'd be wearing freaking grease paint stripes on my face and I'd stick my hand up and say "how" and offer to sell my own head for a jar of beads. It's so good to know we've come such a long way since John Wayne. I was so embarrassed I actually blushed what I'm sure was bright red and had to sit behind my desk and try to stay cool.

In auditions last week for a TV pilot, we were looking for two actors to play a skanky couple who get caught making out in front of the door to the hot tub. They react to the protagonist who catches them by saying a couple lines and then running off. So my boss reads the protagonist lines but guess who gets to stand in as the other half of the skanky couple! Yes! So completely uncomfortable-making! My boss is like, "don't be kissing, you can just hold hands", but it's still mortifying. Especially for this one audition, in which this woman comes in to read, so I have to be the guy, and the boss is like, "hands" but no, she slings both her arms around my neck and makes kissy faces. Nnnnnnnnnnnnno! But it was only the next day when I saw her picture in the paper that I realised that, gosh, I had had a somewhat notorious view. Cause she was none other than the mysterious (or not so ~, especially after the National Inquirer interview) stripper from Brandy's who Ben Affleck got all Ben Afflecky (ie: nasty) with, thereby irking JLo, thereby crashing that relationship into a wall, thereby causing Ben Affleck to Ben Affleck all over Jennifer Garner and JLo to JLo up Marc Anthony thereby causing considerable fodder for celebrity magazines in North American markets, thereby giving me lots to read in the grocery store line-up. History is what I am talking about my friends. History and celebrity bullshit. It's a wonderful thing. Just not hanging about my neck.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Is There Anything As Still As Sleeping Horses?

Ever since I first saw a movie being shot (December 2003) if I make an active effort to pull myself out of the story, I can find even the most banal crap engaging by watching the filmmaking. Last October I spent a night watching both "You've Got Mail" and "Runaway Bride" all the way through for the second time on this premise. Well, also on the premise that watching the TV is more fun than getting work done, but still.

Couple this with the fact that I've started reading novels again, and so am a much more discerning viewer when it comes to story, again. Back to my old snobbery, in many ways, though I have also decided (temporarily, undoubtedly) that literature is bilk and if Saul Bellow can't get me interested in the first ten pages I'm sure as hell not going to stick around for another five hundred and ninety. Narrative delight or nothing, boyo.

My movie reviews are as follows:

"What About Bob", which of course I've seen before, is fairly bad, especially Drefus's histrionics, although the lines "All I want is some peace and quiet" "I'll be quiet" "I'll be peace" still make me laugh out loud, particularly the way good old Bill laughs in the pillow. He laughs as hard and hysterically as I laughed when I was fifteen and my Mom asked me if pee and poo humour was still amusing to me.

"Ordinary People" is very good.

"Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason" despite the pink and purple accents on the cover is really not good. To accomplish dry British humour, engage dry Brits. Though Bridget running with giant boobs in her silly shoes was funny. The Thai prison scenes were uninteresting except for how all the Thai people kept calling her "Be-shit". Now, the A&E "Pride and Prejudice", that is a funny, funny show. "Shelves in the closet: happy thought", the horses rearing up outside when Mary Bennet sings at the ball, that's courtship humour. The point is not that the Brits are willfully stodgy, but that they don't know how to be anything but. Except of course for Ian Wright (wow, check out the hilarious instance of incorrect spelling on this page).

"Bubba Ho-Tep". Whatever points it loses in dragging a little, it makes up with many of Elvis's lines, particulary, re: finally feeling the smallest movement in his elderly penis: "Just the tinest flutter, like a pigeon having a heart attack". Also notable: Ossie Davis's JFK's delivery of the line: "Wow" re: Marilyn Monroe in the sack. Also, fine sound editing on the wheelchair, folks.

Also, I want to marry the man who wrote that story.

But only after I marry Bill Calahan.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Ridiculous Overanalysis

I love haircuts.

I went to elementary, middle, and high school with this girl who had shoulder-length curly hair and she had never had a haircut, once, her hair was curly because it was her baby hair. When she told me this in math class, I remember being sad for her that she didn't know the delightful feeling of how different your head feels after a haircut.

So, I got my semi-annual haircut.

Thankfully, I've never had a hairdresser relationship. You know, where you always go to the same one because they know you and your hair needs and your hair neuroses so well, and they do your hair exactly the same way and even if you grow to hate each other, you can't break the chain without feeling like you, you know, dumped them. No, fuck that. I'm a one-night-stand haircut kind of girl. At best, a weekend. But that's it. This haircut was by the guy who cut my hair back in January or whenever and he's moving to London in two months, so no more hair by Mike.

While I like getting haircuts and the immediate aftermath of the haircut, there are some aspects of the haircutting experience that I can never get comfortable with. The first and formost is the conversation aspect. At some future point when I totally don't care at all what people think of me and start doing things like farting mid-conversation (I actually sometimes do this already, but only while walking outside in noisy environments)(don't tell anyone I told you this) I'll sit down in the chair and say "Hey, I'd rather just enjoy this haircut and zone out without feeling the need to make useless and boring conversation, so if it's all the same with you, I'm just going to sit here and not say anything."

But then I start thinking about how someone snipping away at the hair around your head is so personal, that they're seeing the head part of you really up close from all different angles, and I realise I talk to make myself feel more comfortable and also to distract and even entertain the haircutter. But with entertainment, the question then turns to: is the conversation interesting to the haircutter or can the haircutter hardly stand that an aspect of their job involves jabbing about impersonal (for all our sakes, I hope so) chitchat with strangers when technically they are there to just cut hair?

During my haircut, haircutter Mike and I chatted about some banal-ish topics (how to morph his wardrobe to anticipate the mad London style into which he is about to be plunged (magenta and canary yellow items), what music we were listening to) but the best part of the entire hour and a half session was when we talked about what people talk about in the haircutting chair and then fell silent for long bouts of time eavesdropping on other conversations.

Haircut was good, am free to explore other haircutters without making Mike feel like I dumped him, and secretly think that Mike is leaving hairdressing because he can't stand it anymore (chitchat included) because when I asked him this, he avoided the direct question.

But next time, I'm going to travel back in time to 1980 for my cut and get some sort of ridiculous Dorothy Hamill wedge-shag-type dealy and y'all think I'm joking but I'm not because Elizabeth McGovern is the cutest girl in the world in Ordinary People.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I Guess Everybody Has Their Own Thing That They Yell Into A Well

Today my cat, who is usually purely ornamental, caught a bird.

We heard the birds making a big indignant noise outside, so I went out to investigate and sure enough, the squat, striped, furry form of Miss Missy crouched over a medium-sized bird, that looked up at her and opened and closed its beak at her but no sound came out.

Unlike her more feral and ferocious late daughter, Missy didn't pay enough attention to me to know to try and escape with her prey when I walked up. As it was, it was fairly simple to scoop her up and carry her inside and shut the door. It was such a good feeling to do this, to be the omniscient force to remove the predator from its helpless prey. Having read enough books as a child about the ferocity of otherwise benign household pets when they terrorize small talking mice or small talking rabbits and wishing myself into the scene to simply lift them away, my feeling at finally being able to do this was, as Nicholson Baker might say, an almost overwhelming sense of joy.

Missy was more animated than I've seen her in years, running from window to window and whining to get out. She's a pretty class A whiner already, but the whining at this turn of events was insistent and really focused and I was as proud of her as if she was my own quarter-life-crisis child, finally finding her Special Purpose.

I had high hopes for the bird too. It seemed more in shock than hurt. Missy never catches birds (this one must have been asleep on the lawn or something) so I don't think she knows what to do with them once she's got them between her paws. Just bat them around until they die, is what I guess she would do. That's the thing about Pepys; she ate those birds. She used every part of the buffalo if you know what I mean, so I had respect for her predatory ways.

The bird had a lot of bird friends around too, and I was hoping they would be able to hop around and stir this bird out of its shock and encourage it to shake off trauma and embrace life again. I knew I was interfering in the natural order of things, but it was for the betterment of all.

Several hours later, I went out to see if the bird had flown its ivy resting place and it was gone.

I felt like the carpenter of my own happiness.

I let Missy out again.

Then my dad spotted the bird's corpse in the pond. It had obviously tried to fly or hop away and it fell in the water and drowned.

I hadn't changed the course of the world after all.

I refuse to see this as an allegory.

Friday, June 17, 2005

My Four Jobs

Despite my aspiration to not be as insanely running-around busy this summer as I have been all year, the lack of any deus ex machina wheeling itself down from the heavens and granting me a normal job has inspired my current lifestyle, and also the title of this post (also inspired by that TV show back in the 80s, but I digress).

Job One is one of those stictly at-home contract-type dealyos. It involves creating a manual for a job, hiring someone to do that job and then training them to do it. My current rate of procrastination on this job is utterly shameful, although it was the first job I had nailed down for myself before leaving L.A. (even more shame!). I'm going to do some work on this tomorrow, I swear.

Job Two is really multiple jobs, but I group it under one heading. It involves using my fancypants knowledge of this here English language to try and help:
1) Quebecois health workers hand in reports in English that correctly differentiate "aid" from "aide",
2) Completely disorganised grade eight students understand what a noun is and hopefully pass English 8,
3) Smart kids without chops in the writing department gain confidence and strategies to help them do well on the English Provincial next Wednesday,
4) Irritated college students understand that no, I will not write their paper for them,
5) Super-awesome hyperactive Korean 10-year-olds who yell on the phone and get so excited trying to tell me something that they skip words to slow down because I can't understand what they are saying.

My favorites are #s 3 and 5, particularly 5, who is a smart little show-off living in a crumbling apartment with stains on the walls and attending private school and who will most certainly be more determined and therefore successful than her peers like only the poor immigrant kid can, and I really want to take her and my little cousin to go play in the creek in Hay Park one of these afternoons and have popsicles afterwards.

Job Three is a small firecracker burst of excitement, as it is my first real film job. I'm the assistant to a casting director who is casting a TV pilot (although it's technically the first episode, because they already have a pilot). It's a small gig, yes, and it isn't going to be a lot of work, but duuuuude, I'm working in the industry and for once being paid cash-money to do it. And I'll get to fly-on-the-wall for some Producer-Director-Writer-Whoever discussions. My boss is one of those ideal-type bosses who has you over to her house, which is a tranquil hideaway of sun through the skylights and mellow music, and feeds you tea and then, as you yawn for the fourth time, says "you're tired" and lets you sit on her couch and read the first 16 pages of one of her novels (which she will later lend you) and chill out while she putters around upstairs.

Job Four is the most normal job-type job I have. It involves doing random stuff that needs doing in my friend's dad's law firm. Currently: moving paper around from files to binders and binders to binders and some things to the trash. The firm is in Bentall One (Vancouver's answer to the WTC) but is tiny, with just dad-lawyer, daughter-lawyer (not my friend; her sister) and legal assistant and me. And sometimes the family dog. The legal assistant is a completely fantastic mix of being so anal that she lines up everything perpendicularly ALL THE TIME and so wacky that she talks to herself in funny voices in her office, uh, ALL THE TIME. Everyone's very friendly, even the dog, there are lots of cookies around, and the work is that kind of organizational-type labour that would get mind-numbing if I were doing it all the time, but two or so days a week makes for a nice break of orderly calmness in the midst of uncertainty, mad-scheduling, and doubt.

I'm also trying to do some work on producing a film next fall, and then some writing, and I really need to get a haircut and go to the dentist and renew my driver's license.

And I also need to pencil in some time for smoking weed up on the high school field and for sitting on a rock by the ocean all day until I feel deaf from the lack of any noise but the wind.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Let It Speak To You

After the bombings on Sept. 11th, there were a number of songs banned from radio play. (You can read the full story here).

The idea was to avoid playing songs that might strike a nerve for a nation in shock and grief. It's a nice idea until you realise that, apart from putting a lid on "Great Balls of Fire", they also suggested DJs avoid playing "Imagine" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water". One of the banned songs was Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young". It's a fantastic pop song, but the title gives it a bad rap. I've heard the sentiment of the title darkly invoked by morbid teenagers and the riders of motorcycles. But the song is not at all about death, it's about life. It's an update of Herrick's "To The Virgins, To Make Much of Time", which was similarily rather naughty advice to the nubile to drink deep of the draught of life before time passes by.

But although the song's title has an ironic, or at least tongue-in-cheek, twist to it, I have to agree with the sentiment. I think that when someone dies before the age of, say, 18, it's rare that they've become a complex enough person to be considered anything but good; they are too young to be much more than potential cut short. This can be the most tragic part of losing them.

Billy's statement of preference for laughing with the sinners over crying with the saints are the words of someone who has embraced life and the dark and the light that life is made up of. Only the good die young, but those who have gone beyond just being good and looked for something more than that are those who have really lived life and cannot, therefore, die young.

It's a tragedy for us that Trajan is no longer here, and that his contributions to the world have been cut short. But amidst this grief, be solaced that he lived his life in such a way that we cannot say that he died young.

You might have heard I run with a dangerous crowd
We ain’t too pretty we ain’t too proud
We might be laughing a bit too loud
Aw but that never hurt no one...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A Strange Homecoming

On Friday, my friend Trajan Martin was killed in an accident on the Vancouver public train system. It's weird to write about this to an ostensibly public audience, or at least, an audience of people who didn't know him, because as my friend said to me, if you never knew him, you just aren't going to get it.

But I'm going to try and help you, world, get it, because I want you to know what it is that we all lost on Friday. That may sound a little overdramatic, but to people that knew him it won't.

Trajan is a difficult person to describe. He was extrodinarily charismatic, but also shy, admired by kids from the smoke hole and teachers alike, eccentric, very funny, and weird. He had pet fascinations with squirrels and craigmont soda and manipulating vowels. He wore bow-ties and sweater vests to youth parliament sessions.

He was also the most popular person in my class in high school. I don't think a single person in my grad class would disagree with that. And he wasn't popular in the typical way, in the king-of-the-hill, standing on top of the dog-pile kind of way. He would just talk to everyone. And not in a condescending, precious, oh-aren't-I-magnanimous kind of way either. He just wanted to know what other people had to say and he wanted to tell them what he had to say. I think he gave my class the permission for us to realise that smart and cool are not mutually exclusive concepts, and that it's fine, and even great, to be your own strange self. His persona had mythic proportions.

I had the good fortune of acting opposite him, of working on youth parliament projects with him and sitting next to him during alphabetically-arranged-seating grad events. I remember making smart-ass quips under my breath that he would then hear and amplify for the enjoyment of all. I remember him falling out of his chair laughing at our co-actor Kevin's performance of a crusty old Brit out on a date. I remember some backbencher scornfully asking him, during a North Shore Youth Parliament Question Period, whether he thought he had the power to change the world, and Trajan answering in the most serious and assured way, that yes, he did.

When I was in Japan for a year, he was on a similar exchange in Turkey and we wrote letters back and forth that consisted of a constant one-up-manship of outlandish tales and convoluted return addresses. His final letter was written in incredibly small handwriting on the back of a chocolate bar wrapper and included a wad of tiny paper artifacts from Ankara: bus tickets, bubble gum jokes, a packet of sugar from the Hilton, parts of a box of Kraft Dinner. Although hinted at, he never did tell me the full story of "the night [he] ate shit". Any leads on this anyone?

He was the kind of human being who was very good at digging past bullshit and I think he always tried to encounter the world on his own terms. To be in your late teens and have someone your age around to model this kind of living was quite something.

In short, he is the very last person you could imagine dying in a chaotic and meaningless way at the age of twenty-seven.

And now, he has fulfilled his obligation as valedictorian and organized the reunion of our class, albeit a year early and in the most terribly sad way possible.

In his valedictory address, he urged us to strive to be real with others and ourselves. From his model, I would add that we should also strive to stride big through the world, engage with people around us, and take joy when joy is to be had.

His model would also urge us to drink cheap-ass grapefruit pop and eat Kraft Dinner and watch really terrible B horror movies until passing out, but that one I think you can take or leave.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Great Divide

Being back in Canada is a little weird. It's great to be home, but never have I been more cringingly aware of certain vowel sounds in the Canadian tongue.

Never, too, have I felt more irritated at the socialist structure of things in Canada, in which it seems impossible to do anything unless you have spent three years "paying your dues" in order to qualify for the great priviledge of doing any job slightly more elevated than working in a call center.

So, still unemployed. Not counting tutoring gigs and freelance work. Spent yesterday flooding downtown's many ESL schools with resumes. I did a lot of sneaking into office buildings by sticking my foot in the door after someone left and then looking at the building directory for any listing that included the words "college" "international" "pacific" "english" "language" or "institute" and then trying to look as professional as possible (a challenge, as it's been hot and all the pavement-pounding and stair-climbing made me sweaty) while smiling big and handing them my resume, which includes a grand total of zero lies. The best ESL school name is "Eurocentres". Can you learn Euro-Trash-Talking there?

At one place, they made write a test. I pulled out all the stops with words like "transitive verb". Maybe they'll give me a job.

In the meantime, enjoy this tidbit I found in The Georgia Straight:

[Andrew Van Slee on the way young people are prepared for a career in film]:

"You're told to take a flag course... [seven years later] you a production assistant or a line producer, and then the production manager, and then you're making movies. The process stifiles creativity. Great, talented filmmakers end up standing out in the rain directing traffic because that's how they're told they have to do it."

Kinda makes you a self-hating Canadian.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Still Unemployed

Last night I saw "Sahara" or "Crest Whitestrips: The Movie". Despite the efforts of many nefarious Africans intent on making the world uninhabitable for their fellow citizens (which is what all Africans do, all the time), Matthew McConaughey just kept living, Steve Zahn just kept the lovable stoner act up (what is he, pushing 40? (tm)) and Penelope Cruz just kept being Penelope Cruz (beautiful to point of being weird-looking).

Sadly, none of the 800 screenwriters they had attached to the project could come up with any good dialogue, but people saying dumb things and MM posturing as the Messiah kept us rolling in the aisles when we weren't falling asleep. The film was another upstanding example of a giant movie with a huge budget and a shitty script and a lot of naive and offensive ideas about anyplace that's not America. Maybe that's why comedy is so hard-- because crap like this is providing us with so many laughs that it makes for some tough competition in the giggles market.

I also drank a total of 3 beers while walking around West Van and downtown. For some reason that felt much more illicit than walking through the city streets smoking a joint. Probably because of all the seats the Marijuana Party won a couple weeks ago.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Singing In The Almost Constant Drizzle

What better kind of holiday is there than Victoria Day? No obligation to really celebrate anything because, really, what are we going to do? Cover all tables with giant tablecloths lest their legs show and suggest human legs and what's between them? Wear corsets? Get syphilis from a whore? No, no, gentle Canadians, it's called May 2-4 for a reason. Nothing to do but chill-ax and enjoy the onset of summer.

Today Jeremy and I wandered around the green slopes of West Van and out onto the Dundarave Pier where we tried to continue our conversation but I was having a hard time paying full attention because I forgot how Vancouver looks in the summer, which is really really beautiful. No really, like really really really beautiful. The ocean and the trees are such dark colours of green and blue that when the sun finally hits them you could look at them all day and still see new colours. Soon it will be warm enought to swim, or warm enough to swim without feeling like your chest is going to seize up into a massive heart attack.

In other Vancouver news (and I may be getting paid cash-money to write that in the near future, I'll keep you posted), I went by MEC the other day and replaced my missing Nalgene bottle and also my falling-apart backpack. Though the backpack is practical, I'm starting to feel too old for it, so I went for a messenger bag. It's cheap, well-made, could look more or less professional and bad for my back. All the Grouse Grinders in the store were delightful, as was noting the "outdoor sports" area of town on Broadway that has grown up around the MEC store. All it needs now is a Scientology Center (Church? Landing Site?).

Thursday, May 19, 2005


When I first saw Rushmore, I was, like, mesmerized and I kept renting it and watched it maybe three or four times in a four month span. Then I got the soundtrack and listened to that, and you can confirm this with my roommates of the time, every day for the space of at least two months. Then my own obsessiveness started to scare me and I laid off.

And then I started to be aware of the cult of Wes Anderson and after throwing out some Bottle Rocket references and feeling cool, I began to feel like a bit of poseur for, you know, all of it. Including the fact that the sullen male teenaged factor at Frontier Video in WV would refuse to talk to you unless you rented a Wes Anderson film. Right.

Anyway, there are a lot of movies that I haven't seen and there are a lot of movies that I have seen that I need to see again now that I know more about movies. In short, my film cultural capital is pauvre especially now that my understanding about how film works is so very different than it was, say, a year ago. Now I watch movies and say things like "the foley was really melodramatic" and I'm not even making fun of myself. Well, maybe a little.

Anyway, I watched Rushmore again the other day, and damn if that isn't as good of a movie as I always thought it was. So quick and dirty, gets in late and out early, such great shots and compositions, such surprising and brilliant lines of dialogue. Most impressive, it all looks so intentional. Which seems all but impossible, right? How can you be that intentional and have it all work out? I really don't think you can. Movie Magic.

"Yeah, well I wrote and directed a hit play, so I'm not sweating it either."

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Nerd Joy

The real reason I moved back to Vancouver for the summer is so I can live in WV and have access to the crackerjack library here. West Van is full of crumbly old people who read A LOT and have, often, lots of money which they then will to the library when they die. Or they, you know, split the cash between their cat and the library. Either way, the library has enough cash and circulation to make it freaking awesome.

When I was writing my thesis, the downtown library had one copy of this book I used a lot and it was in the reference section. The West Van library had three copies and you could take them all out.

It was at the West Van library that I got my copy of David Lee Roth's "Crazy From the Heat" for a single shining dollar. Hardcover. Stamped and dewy decimaled, but never put into circulation.

The person who buys the music at the West Van Library is a brilliant maniac. They seem to love Maria McKee and Joni Mitchell, but hot damn if the Hidden Cameras' first album isn't in the rack there, along with two Smog albums and some early White Stripes.

And the movie section. Brilliant. Today I picked up the Criterion "Yojimbo" and "Princess Mononoke" and "Badlands".

It was also in the West Van library that I got to see Dougie Coupland read (because it's his hometown library too) and where Jeremy and I found the most disturbing illustrated copy of "A Modest Proposal" that you could ever wish to have nightmares about.


Monday, May 16, 2005

I, Five

California is a really long state.

I knew this before, but never does it hit home like it does when you are at the bottom of it trying to get to the top.

Doretta and I set sail from LA on Wednesday at 3. We had all we needed for the trip: pita chips, lots of music, maps, a flat of bottled water, trashy magazines and a burning desire to get ourselves north of the 49th. My if-not-trusty-than-at-least-good-looking Volvo has no air conditioning, so one of the challenges of the trip was staying alert in what is, during the deadly 3pm to 7pm stretch, a very hot car.

But despite gusty winds, hot days, the smell of cow shit, cel phones on roam, incredibly salty Round Table pizza, semis with three trailers (C trains?), shocking glimpses of overcrowded cattle farms, scary roadside rusty metal sculpture and the fatalities of several thousand bugs, we did, indeed, make it home.

Doretta gets mad props for being a superstar DJ, for Doretta-dancing in her seat, for encouraging me to consume caffeine (which I normally never do), for agreeing to keep driving even when it got really late, for being smart enough to slink down in the front seat in order for me to successfully smuggle her into the HoJo's so we could get the single occupancy rate, for her beautiful squeegee work, for talking to me when I got tired and for singing along to Stephen Malkmus as we entered the fair city of Vancouver (a nuclear weapons-free zone).

Observations include: gee, Portland is a really lovely kind of place. and: what is wrong with Canadian border guards? Guy asks us how long we've been in the States and we're like "since January" and then he asks if either of us are bringing over $200 worth of stuff with us. What the hell kind of question is this? A: isn't the limit, like, $500 after 48 hours? and B: running shoes + headphones + a pack of gum = more than $200, n'est ce pas? Well, lying at the Peace Arch crossing is a time-honoured tradition for Vancouverites, maybe he was just trying to welcome us home.

But ah, kilometers. Ah, trees and ocean smells. Ah, loonies. Ah, Lions Gate Bridge. Ah, the green. Ah, the gentle constant rain, like Milton's Eden. Ah, me lovely friends. Ah, me ma, me pa, me bro. Ah, home.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Home Safe

Got all the way back to Sinclair Street safe and sound. Thrilling details of the road to follow.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005




Ready to go.

Found a lot of stuff I didn't know were in my room while packing. Mostly feathers from my bedding and lots and lots of dust. Too bad there's no vaccuum in this house that works (i.e., doesn't light itself on fire when you turn it on).

It's so strange that the year is over now. I didn't have any kind of mental projection for this stage in the process.

I feel sad about it.

But I'll have three days of driving to mull it over.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Almost Unhooking the Computer

Moving is like writing papers: the pain persists until your are finally, indelibly, out of the house and whatever you missed doing you can't fix now. The moving of my house, like the writing of the critical studies paper last month, really shouldn't be that difficult. I haven't lived here for very long and I don't have that much stuff and I'm leaving lots of it for my subletter anyway. It still is more or less sucky, though.

But, holy shit, by tomorrow I'll be leaving LA.

Good thing Dorrie's here to be my cheerleader and personal assistant.

Oh, and House of Wax sucks, except for the Paris Hilton sextape jokes and moments you've already seen in the trailer. The Dome at the Arclight is cool however, almost as cool as my dear black-eyeing, sushi-buying pal Alex.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Things I Can't Stop Doing

#1: Getting massive parking tickets
#2: This
#3: Skipping sleeping, eating and bathing for things related to USC movies. My god, isn't it rest time yet?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

It Wouldn't Be LA Without Famous People

Re: what I said earlier about more serious film postings and less rambling about nightlife: screw that.

James Iha, spotted tonight at our favorite dive bar, the Smogcutter. Accidentally elbowed me in the arm at one point. Had an entourage of cute indie rocker girls. Sang a song (the Who?) that was not "Bullet With Butterfly Wings". First time I've been in a karaoke bar with someone whose song is actually one of the options in the book.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

So Much Cute

Originally uploaded by r-stop.

Here it is folks, my 508 class. I think everyone looks a little wacky and overtired in this picture. But so lovable.

Boring Chitchat About Clothes, Or: Homework Due Tomorrow

Socks: I got these two pairs of socks last summer, that, at the time, I bought because I thought they were so ugly they were hot. They are very comfortable and sporty and have padded heels and go well with low-top Chucks and it's gotten to the point where I want to wear them every day and so I almost do, or at least I wear them two days before I wash them. I know socks are high on the list of things you are supposed to change everyday, but these socks are so damn ugly, by which I mean awesome, that I can't help myself. Sorry if they stink, folks; they're too cosy-feeling to resist.

Jeans: There are many ways to chart how the first year of movie school has taken its toll on my peers and me. Some people have gotten noticably chubbier, some people have gotten very thin. Some people have gotten many more white hairs (me) and some people's hair has fallen out. But everyone's jeans have gotten destroyed. I got new jeans within two weeks of moving here and I don't really like them so I try to wear them as little as possible, but they are still getting thin and shreddred and white in spots at a seemingly much faster rate than any other jeans I've ever owned. It's as if film school causes premature aging in pants. Witness the knee-holes and disintegrating hemlines of my fellow 508-ers and you'll see what I mean.

Unrelated to Clothes, but Still Mentioning Hair: Tonight, saw Angels of Light with Akron/Family. The theme of the evening was sitting: everyone was sitting, including all the people making music. That was fine, cause, you know, standing through a set I'm not super-duper invested in at shows makes me feel old because of how much my knees hurt afterwards. Still, the room would have had considerably more energy if we were standing and could clump excitedly around the stage, but hey. For some reason I felt really happy to be in a room with a bunch of people, under whatever circumstances. I guess I haven't realised the degree to which I've been in my own strange segregated-from-humanity world. But the band, the band was pretty great and hilarious to watch. You Pony readers know how much I love me some hippie, and everyone in the band had a beard and looked like your dad circa 1977. There were plastic flowers on the amps and a papier mache fish in a glass display box. The music came from the usual suspects (guitar, bass, drums) but also plastic kazoos and a xylophone and a necklace of bells. The seriousness with which the kazoo-kind of music was made was very entertaining, as was the constant guitar tuning of the most jesus-looking of the band members and the other band members' palpabably dwindling patience with it: "Zack's a great tuner" [Zack bobs head and smiles and tunes] Guitar: Dwinnnn dwooooooon, dwinnnn dwoooeeenn

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Love the Band, Hate the Fans

Today I was talking to a TA of mine who continually mixes me up with this other person in the class and when I pointed out that, yet again, she had done this, she said something along the lines of "you guys look the same, i don't know, brown hair, all-American girl..."

So now I'm having a crisis in which I want to start dying my hair bright red and orange again.

What the fuck? The only all-American thing I'm interested in is the Neko Case song.

After I told her that I was not, in fact, American, she told me about being in Barbados and realising that the rest of the world actually likes Canada; that it's only America that has this odd, resentful, disdainful attitude towards Canada. Where's Rick Mercer when you need him?

Friday, April 29, 2005

What In...?

This blog is supposedly about film school, so maybe I should talk a little more about movie stuff, instead of just shooting the shit about what went down at the Smog Cutter the other night.

The school of Cinema-Television runs these events that entail watching a movie and then having a Q and A with the person who made the movie. I've gone to a grand total of two of these events, simply because I haven't had the time. Or I've been shooting. I made Jordan miss Werner Herzog a couple months back cause we were shooting, but I made it up to him by scheduling around the Superbowl.

Anyway, point is: saw Tarnation last night. I hadn't seen it before (again, I don't watch movies because I'm too busy making movies--see anything drastically wrong with this picture? (and I mean that in all possible senses)). Hot damn that's a fine piece of work. First up, the footage is incredible, not because it captures pivotal moments, but because there is such an everyday-ness about it. And second, the editing is great, because it still manages to tell this story that's all about pivotal moments and what direction a life takes because of them.

I'd like to see it again when I'm not sitting in the front row, but that's the only way to watch a movie in Lucas 108 and not get bruises on your kneecaps. And there was even a handy chair in front of me that I could pull up and rest my legs on. Did I feel like a jackass when, after the screening, I realized the chair was for the filmmaker to sit on during the Q and A? Yes, yes I did.

Luckily, Jonathon Caouette seems like the kind of guy who wouldn't care that much if you put your feet on his chair. He was very sweet and shy, and kept looking at the floor, and possibly at my shoe? Tarnation is the kind of movie that, after the credits roll, you wish you could talk to the people that made it, so it was surreal that he was there to talk to. Hearing him talk brought a whole new dimension to the meaning of the film. It also made filmmaking feel as personal and as easily accessible and as weird and specific as, i dunno, making a zine or being in a band. Like filmmaking is something you can do randomly in your spare time and it can be as crazy as you are, as long as you put love into it.

At what point is extremely personal specificity no longer interesting to a good percentage of the populace?

Confidential to JB: at least 93 Avid stations and 99 16mm Arriflexs, can't find mention of 35mm cameras, but USC does have its own telecine, which I should have mentioned to the Air Canada agent this January who said, huffily, that there is a perfectly good film school in Vancouver.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Dregs

So I'm heading northward in the next fortnight. For those of you who follow these things with glee, I really don't say fortnight as part of my everyday speech. Nor do other Canadians I know. Unless they are the madly anglophilic kind of Canadian or they read too many Enid Blyton books.

Anyway, departure looms, which means moving, which is quite honestly dead last on the list of things I would like to be doing right now, getting all my other work done being on the top of that list and kicking back and having some fun for once being a close second.

But this also leads to the moving food problem. I've been scaling down the food that I keep in the house over the last month or so and am left with the weirdest combinations of things, which occasionally lead to bizarre meals. For dinner last night, I poached an egg in the microwave and made some toast and ate it with some edamame. I'm out of juice, but I have lots of flour. Lots of rolled oats and brown sugar (so have been eating oatmeal for breakfast and dinner a lot) and have whole bag of spinach to get through. No butter but a whole container of sprouts.

Also, I guess in theory I should be moved out of here by Saturday, even though I'm not leaving town until the 11th. I'm still clinging to the hope that someone will sublet this place, though, in which case I could conceivably hang around here a little longer. Whatever, I just have to bite the bullet and call my landlady.

They say moving is the second most stressful thing to fill your time with other than death of a loved one or divorce, but whoever made that list doesn't go to film school.