Mar 31, 2004

Some blues are just blues.

I still taste his kisses like candy in my mouth.

posted by Mary Forrest at 3:57 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 30, 2004

A day of celebrity

Well, I don't know if you can call it celebrity per se. In that word, I see the root that later becomes "to celebrate," and I don't know that I need to celebrate the fact that my personal ad is being featured on various Spring Street Networks affiliate sites. I haven't been very faithful about checking in on that effort. Then all of a sudden, late last night it seemed the floodgates had been opened, and I was receiving message after message in my inbox. I was curious, but not at home, so I didn't investigate with any notable verve. A friend recognized my photo on the New York Daily News web site and emailed me today. Yeesh. Newsflash: Check me out -- I'm single! If my mother is watching, she's saying something humiliating in Chinese.

When I first put an ad up, ages and ages ago, I was featured within the first month, and I remember being kind of excited and flattered. But today, it seems less of a coup. I picture a comedic finish, the descending scale of "wah wah wah wah" or that mugging expression that says, "You got me." Okay, America. Okay, World. So now you know. Don't all pity me at once, will you? I'm actually a good hand at being a single girl. It keeps me on my toes. And it keeps my toes painted in pretty colors.

posted by Mary Forrest at 12:33 PM | Back to Monoblog

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Deep Space Nine marathon on Spike TV starting next week. I would say that this fact justifies the existence of Spike TV, but I also approve of Ren & Stimpy and the many excuses they find to play James Bond movies. How can it be that a station "just for men" can be so to my liking? Is this my comeuppance for letting a former boyfriend use my Secret anti-perspirant?

I remember when I used to look forward to staying home on Saturday nights to watch Ren & Stimpy on Snick. After which, on numerous occasions, I would saunter down to the hot tub for some quality Mary time. And I never thought I was missing out on anything. If only I could recapture that feeling.

Anyway, I've often gotten on better with the boys than with the girls and sometimes to my chagrin. And it isn't only because I own an Intellivision. Apparently, some guys don't even know what that is.


posted by Mary Forrest at 2:37 AM | Back to Monoblog

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"What's that noise you're making with your throat?"

I adore the Paul F. Tompkins Show. (Even if I am now referring to it in intimate company as the Paul F. Tompkins Has a Girlfriend Show.) Paul F. Tompkins really has no business not being the most successful man in comedy. There is no one in the world who better deserves fame, fortune, and a grandiloquent wardrobe. Although, in a way, I'm certain I will rue the day he explodes in the collective consciousness and is suddenly too big to do these shows each month. I look forward to them more than most things. And I'm someone who overheard a guy at Canter's explaining to his lady friend what the word "rapture" means for Christians.

I saw Alex off at the airport today. He was boarding a big, giant Air New Zealand plane with the faces of the stars of The Lord of the Rings painted on it and something about it being the way to Middle-Earth. In fact, if you go to the Air New Zealand web site, it appears that they are actually calling New Zealand Middle-Earth now. Hasn't this gone far enough? I mean, are maps being redone? Movie characters are on the En Zed stamps. Are they also on the money? And are the film's stars being given giant keys to Auckland? Have they been crowned honorary royalty? What I really want to know is why were those bastards in Tunisia so ungrateful when George Lucas turned them into Tatooine? Where's the Skywalker commemorative stamp issue? I'm wondering if the employees of Air New Zealand are forced to correct passengers who insist on saying they want to fly to New Zealand. Maybe they won't let you on the plane until you admit that you believe you're actually going to Middle-Earth. Maybe that's what they stamp on your passport. I also wonder how the Maoris feel about all of this. It's like New Zealand is a fake country now. A giant, country-sized theme park. How degrading. Well, who am I kidding. I live in Los Angeles.

So, Alex is a rock and roll journalist now. And I am jealous. I keep managing to not happen upon the chance encounters that would turn me overnight into a success of massive proportions. I'm growing impatient for it. My web site was mentioned in Rolling Stone Magazine once, but that was a long time ago, and I've long since surrendered the bragging rights. I need new laurels to clutch.

Not just in this respect, but I do feel as if I am waiting for something to happen. It's terribly trying. Every day I find myself wondering if this is going to be the day. But I have no idea what I mean by "the day," nor have I any idea what's supposed to happen. I'm just waiting. Shifting from foot to foot. Somewhere -- maybe just around the next corner -- something is about to spring on me, and it will change everything. I know it. I'm just hopeful that it won't be a disfiguring incident involving acid in the face.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 2:16 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 29, 2004

Shadoe Stevens to Block

My web access has been maddeningly unavailable to me since the wee hours. I can't get or send email. I can't update my site. I can't even post to my blog, which makes this an exercise in futility. I guess there's value to it, though. It's like a mandatory simmering time. Time to rethink what you wanted to say. Time to think better of it. I was always one to delay acting on my feelings. I never trusted the immediacy of an impassioned moment. I never knew if I was really so very angry or so hurt or so happy. I often wait to proclaim anything I'm feeling until it is safe and rational and certain. There is always something flowing. Patiently stemming it keeps me from bleeding to death.

Messages in my outbox lost their importance and got moved to the trash like so much...well, trash. But I have to be very deliberate about such things. Sometimes, the fact that I've written it makes me think it's permanent. And words that have never been said go down in the history books as statements made and heard. It's a task keeping track. I start a lot of sentences with, "Did I already tell you...?" and, "I may have said this before..." In all honesty, I'm not always sure.

There are many tender messages I would have wanted to write in a soft hand, roll up in a secret compartment, and pass on to you with hopeful anticipation. When my eyes twinkle like a girl in a Japanese cartoon, it means I'm hiding something. And hoping it will be found. I frown when I think of all the things that went unsaid. I miss the sense that there would always be time to get to it later. It makes me want to treat every encounter like a round of Supermarket Sweep. The clock is running down, and I don't want to come up short. I always spend too much time in the cereal aisle.

posted by Mary Forrest at 4:32 PM | Back to Monoblog

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Sunsoaked and Caffeinated

I had time to nap, but I realized I was just lying very still and acknowledging that I was awake with closed eyes. The day got such an early start. In a way, I praise the obligation current. Having to be somewhere is an excellent means of being somewhere. But I'm back now, and the web isn't working for me, and there are things coursing through my brain. I felt pretty in summer clothes but sleepy-eyed. Coffee on Melrose brought back memories of coffee on Melrose. The stroll of the sidewalk rendered leggy reflections. I was only under any pressure when I was standing still.

That's what leads to a certain frantic posture. And questions get raised and go unanswered. I picture things going a certain way. They never do. I think, "Wouldn't it be nice?" It never is. Whatever it is I am missing -- maybe it's the plug to a drain. And everything else circles down into the overflow. It keeps me from ever maintaining proper levels of anything. Unfolding something folded and finding nothing inside. Or unfolding it to find it isn't what it once was. Mysteries. Magic tricks. Is this your card?

I detest not being certain of anything. But perhaps it is the gateway. Perhaps it means being open. Perhaps certainty is a tomb. I just know that it has been easier and it has been harder. It has been wonderful and it has been cruel. It has been instantaneous and it has been endless. It has been excruciating. When you get to the place where everything is said in the past tense, it's as if the present no longer exists. You can't catch it. It's always a second ahead of you. You're so busy cataloguing what once was that you have no fluency for what is. And you wrap yourself up in what's next, blind to what's now. Isn't there a pair of glasses I can wear -- something that will help me to keep an eye on all of it? Isn't there a point where it ceases to be academic? Isn't life more than all the reasons to be sorry?

It makes me scoot my skirt a little further down on my hips. It makes me stand up straight. Being a girl is making a woman of me.

It's hot out there. And I'm STARVING.

posted by Mary Forrest at 3:26 PM | Back to Monoblog

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Up all night. Sleep all day.

It works in theory. But I didn't actually sleep all day. And I'm all twisted around. Bent backwards and knotted through. Not enough rest. Not enough catch up. Too many plans. Too many places to be. Too much parking to find. I performed in the last of the spec script staged readings from my workshop class tonight. I enjoyed being Susie Green (Curb Your Enthusiasm). I cotton to the foulmouthed; no sense denying it. Salt isn't just for steaks. It's also been a spell since I had to haul out the New York accent. I'd forgotten how much fun it is to fake.

I went and saw some more comedy tonight. When Los Angeles serves up the Paul F. Tompkins, I'm sure to be found nearby. They serve giant cocktails at St. Nick's. I love them for that. My Ketel One soda was a spot-hitter. But I haven't had a shred to eat all day, and I'm not feeling as fine as I'd like. I don't know why, but I feel like I got all dressed up for nothing. That happens sometimes. Usually when my skirt is short and my stockings are saucy. And the evening doesn't end with me being chosen from a crowd to board a spaceship bound for the party planet.

I had such strange dreams when I was dozing today. I get confused. I get stuck in that bleary between state. I have no idea what's real. It was warm today. So terribly, wonderfully warm. If I were a seed in the soil, I would surely be sprouting. Or shriveling. Things have a way of going too far.

In the coming weeks, I'm certain to be crushed by the weight of all the work I have to do. I'm fond of not being destitute, but I wish there could be some middle ground. I was beginning to believe I was living a life of leisure.

Oh, and the taxes loom. Bloody taxes. Shoving me, fingers first, into the memory mill. I get all chopped to bits in there.

The commercial for the new Snickers energy bar plays the dirge from Beethoven's Seventh. I don't understand that choice. Maybe I resent it. That movement (the second) is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. It often threatens to wring my tear ducts when I hear it. But what could it possibly have to do with mountain biking? If I were still updating those old list pages of mine, I imagine this would have ended up on one of them.

We can't stop to love takasaki. Let's come and join us!!

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posted by Mary Forrest at 2:03 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 28, 2004

Your Eyes, Beauty, and Tequila

I'm just getting home. Well, that's not true. I got home a little after two a.m., but it was only to stop in and pick up booze and potato chips and go right back out again. It's nice to be up and about when the sun is so early in its workday. Even if it is only to drive a bloke to Silverlake.

I missed seeing Bunny Lake Is Missing last night, but it couldn't be helped. I was a go go yesterday from the morning on. And there is little chance today will be much different. I have the freedom to go nap right now, but I'm almost afraid to do it. In a matter of moments, it will suddenly be over. Sunday.

In truth, it was vodka all night. But that's not the song lyric.

Oh, yeah. Your eyes and tequila.

posted by Mary Forrest at 9:51 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 27, 2004

Vera, Chuck, and Dave

Back to the Egyptian for the Howard Hawks double feature that ended up being a Howard Hawks single feature plus a movie that happened to have the same name as a Howard Hawks feature but had nothing whatever to do with Howard Hawks. I love the Egyptian. I remember the first time I went. It was on Memorial Day, I think. 2002. I went to see a Mario Bava double feature. I wore the striped t-shirt that looks most like Ernie to me. And I wore tennis shoes. And I felt entirely welcome. I have been back many, many times. And secretly, sometimes I sneer at the other people there. I like to tell myself that I discovered the place and everyone else is a latecomer. I have ridiculous lapses of sanity from time to time.

I spent more time in LACMA's permanent collection today. There are many wonderful things to be found. And the coffee you can buy from the cafe cart is great. I'm glad to have so many different friends who want to be shown around. It's part of how I get my money's worth.

Oh, and there was a problem with the link to my evangelistic efforts of March 18. I have fixed it now, if you care to give it another try.

You'll be older, too.


posted by Mary Forrest at 3:45 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 26, 2004

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Someone asked me tonight whose writing style I would choose for my own. I hemmed and hawed. Not good at narrowing it down, me. But I remember that it was T.S. Eliot who made me want to write poetry. And it was J. Alfred Prufrock who made me wish that the mermaids would sing to me. Do I dare to eat a peach?

posted by Mary Forrest at 2:06 AM | Back to Monoblog

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"Richard Simmons cited for slapping man"

I didn't read the story. I didn't need to. The headline alone made for hours of amusing imaginative excursions.

If you haven't already heard it, you should get me to tell you the story of the time I ran into Richard Simmons at an airport. He did not slap me in the least.

posted by Mary Forrest at 1:01 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 25, 2004

"...a bit woebegone but drolly unsurprised by life's vicissitudes..."

Orange Shirt


posted by Mary Forrest at 2:10 AM | Back to Monoblog

     Mar 24, 2004

It's like it was named for me.

M Bar is, of course, the subject of my subject line. I've been meaning to go for ages. Tonight, I went. Got robbed in some respects because Nick Swardson didn't show, and no apologies or explanations were made. But Blaine Capatch emceed and the line up was as tight as I could have wanted. Quite a few people I've seen around town on other stages. A lot of character work from Brendon Small, Scott Aukerman, and the guys from the Upright Citizens Brigade. But the most important component is that I now know how it works over there. Checking out new comedy clubs for me is like going to a new gym. You eventually have to get past that fear that you will sit down at a machine and not be able to figure out how it works. The faceless illustration on the machine looks simple enough, but somewhere in the room, a muscle-bound dude is laughing at me as I push the levers in the wrong direction. So now I know my way around M Bar. Sigh of relief.

posted by Mary Forrest at 1:41 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 22, 2004

Getting the Story Right (as in Correct)

Apparently, I paraphrased Josh's story with embarrassing inaccuracy. What am I? Working for Fox News? Here's the real lowdown from Josh himself, and the photographic evidence to boot:

so, i was at the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown on saturday, wearing my
"Live WRONG and Prosper" jacket (which has a picture of George Bush as Mr.
Spock, giving the vulcan hand symbol) when this group of people approached
me. i was on my cell phone at the time, so of course, i gave them all
stink-eye, until i realized what they were trying to say to me. "this is
Mrs. Nimoy! This is Mrs. Nimoy!" i had no clue why they would be telling me
this, and then i remembered hearing them inside the museum commenting behind
my back about how funny they thought my jacket was. oh...her husband is Mr.
Spock! she liked my jacket and thought Mr. Leonard Nimoy would love it too,
"because he is of course anti-Bush you know." as it turns out, he was
sitting 20 feet away in his car, so she escorted me over to him and he
started laughing and said he loved it and wanted to buy one. i was in awe
and forgot to open my mouth and say, "dude, i'll give you as many as you
want." instead, i just smiled and asked if i could get a picture ;-)

If you are interested in buying clothing with Josh's "Live Wrong and Prosper" design, let me know and I will put you in touch with him. And if he puts up a site to sell such things, I will certainly announce it here.

And isn't Josh a cutie pie? Mr. Spock looks good, too.


posted by Mary Forrest at 3:26 PM | Back to Monoblog

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"I don't know why bear hugs enjoy such a great reputation."


posted by Mary Forrest at 1:38 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 21, 2004

Jewish giant at home with parents in Bronx.

I went to the Diane Arbus Revelations exhibit at LACMA today. It was much more extensive than I realized. I wish I'd had more time to linger. But Adam had a plane to catch. I really feel grateful for people who had the desire to photograph the mundane and the quirky and the bizarre back when photography wasn't nearly as accessible a practice. Otherwise, how would we know what a living room in Long Island looked like on Christmas morning in the 1960s? Today, with digital cameras everywhere and the freedom to take pictures of nearly everything you see, I'm saddened by how few interesting pictures get taken. When I go to the place where I get my 35mm film developed, the board that displays the kinds of finishes you can choose shows them to you by way of graduation photos and wedding photos and smiling snapshots of children in little plastic pools. And that's the kind of pictures most people take. The "say 'cheese'" variety. The one friend who likes to make silly faces when the shutter opens. The rabbit ears. The winning smile. The proud displaying of trophies. The "get in close so that we can all prove that we were here together" kind of portraits that end up on people's refrigerators or in the large collage of photos they hang in their bathroom. My mother always used to shake her head at me when I took pictures of strangers on trains in Japan. "Why do you want a picture of that girl? She has such bad skin." And she is even less moved by the pictures I take of shop signs and glassware and forks and knives and mannequins. But most people share her idea of what photography is for. For memory-making, I suppose. As opposed to art-making. Or for hoping that the thing you see in your brain can be transfered to the emulsion somehow.

But I did used to love to go on photo outings. To get on the train and ride to Tokyo with the hopes that I could take a photo without offending anyone. Maybe the problem these days is that you have to worry if people will LET you take their picture. With a big 35mm SLR camera in front of my face, I suppose I look a bit like an insect. People don't always know how to take it. But back then, I usually took the risk. And Japanese people were too polite to object. And I was too art-hungry to worry that they were saying mean things about me in their heads. And I developed my own film and printed and printed like a mad printing person. I spent hours in the darkroom. And it was always cool in there.

I'm buzzing with the desire to take my Canon A-1 back out and capture all the lame, the luxurious, the dirty, the gritty, the lurid things I can find. I am weary of all the pictures I take of myself. There was a time when I felt a little bit like a pioneer in that. And I have a few photos I've taken of myself that people have found interesting or inspired. But there's also just a great heaping lot of them that are from the inside of my apartment day after day after day. Or from the benches at LACMA. Or from the front seat of my car. I'm not entirely resentful. I'm glad I have some of my history captured. I'm glad I can remember what I looked like from month to month. And I recognize that the days when I don't take any pictures of myself are the days when there just doesn't seem to be anything new or interesting to see. And that makes me sad. I would take pictures of other people if they were nearby and willing. But that isn't always the case. And I fear the getting-fed-up that inevitably happens. When a friend or family member gives me that look and says, "Mary, enough!"

My friend Simon is also an avid shutterbug. I like that about him. I also like that he says such hilarious things. The latest was this:

I heard a good pickup line the other day: "Does this rag smell like ether to you?"

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posted by Mary Forrest at 3:42 PM | Back to Monoblog

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Spring Sprang Sprung

That many consonants in a row looks German to me. It's Sturm und Drang in pastel colors. I like Easter bunnies that wear neckties.

Restless day of painting and waiting and noticing that the sun had broken through but not feeling able to go collect it. I was touched with blue. But I wore green.

It was a nice dinner at Angeli Caffe -- one of my favorite places to eat. I was introduced to it by my friend Jo. It seems that was ages ago. Tonight, I shared it with Adam and a handful of his Los Angeles friends. And then we danced (and drank) the night away in West Hollywood, until Josh and Joey and Zach arrived, and I was able to mingle the many pals and take advantage of how well Josh knows that one bartender who makes our drinks so strong you have to thank him through clenched teeth.

In dancefloor news, Beulah was the first to admit that Britney Spears' Toxic is a better song than any of us would like it to be. I think Britney looks like she should be checked for the presence of the appropriate number of chromosomes, but I'm willing to admit that the people who write and produce her material make it tough to oppose her and all of her damnable pop currency. They obviously know more about me and what I enjoy than I do.

When is that robots attacking the earth movie coming out already? Josh showed me this trailer before Christmas, for the sake of someone tardy. I need scientific distraction.

You know I'm keen on Al Franken and whatever it is he's up to. The latest on his liberal radio network only makes me long for it with all the more impassioned zeal. Hurry it up, Al. I've got a fire in my belly and no one to share it with.

But first, a quick anecdote. Apparently, Josh was at MOCA today, and he was wearing the "Live Wrong and Prosper" jacket he designed and silkscreened -- the one with an image of George W. Bush turned Vulcan and giving the Vulcan greeting with his hand -- and Leonard Nimoy's wife came up to him, avec entourage, and said, "Oh, you have to come over and show it to Leonard. He'll love it. He HATES Bush." And she ushered Josh and Joey over to their car where Leonard Nimoy took a photo with Josh and inquired about the jacket and how to get one. Josh called me because he wanted to share the story with someone who would properly appreciate it. And he was right to. I had to admit that I had just finished watching the second half of Star Trek Nemesis on the television. It's abominably bad. But I'm too far gone to care. If I'm ever stuck in outer space with only one television show to watch for all of eternity, let it be Star Trek. And preferably Deep Space Nine. Our species will surely fail to perpetuate if I am stranded in the cosmos with nothing to watch but Home Improvement. Anyway, I love many things about this incident, but mostly I love the solidarity of Mr. Spock hating Mr. Bush. I knew we had a few things in common.

I need sleep, but I won't get it.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 4:26 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 20, 2004

Vernal Equinox

   salad days, noun:

A time of youthful inexperience, innocence, or indiscretion.

Those were his salad days, and he thought they might last
--David Gergen, " 'They Love You. Watch Out,' " [1]New York
Times, February 2, 1997

Salad days was coined by Shakespeare in Antony and Cleopatra:
"My salad days,/ When I was green in judgment, cold in blood."

posted by Mary Forrest at 3:16 PM | Back to Monoblog

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"I'm ready. Ready ready ready, I'm ready."

Adam says John Cusack was at The Little Door with us last night, but I didn't see him. And I was too preoccupied with being upset that they said their oven was broken and that we couldn't have dinner. It's not often that I bother to make a reservation, but it stings all the more to be turned away when I have. It was one of those moments when I wished I was important enough that the chef would have run home and cooked me something in his own oven just to make sure I was happy and looked after. I've never been that important, so it's not like I would know what that's like. But the sneery treatment I got from the two Italian women in charge made me feel like the rest of the evening was just sandbagging.

And I haven't been able to sleep at all. Not last night. Not in the morning when I could have tried to. I'm doing the deep breath under the covers and everything. The weird alertness that almost feels like a panic attack. The frustrating, pillow-punching, channel-changing, clock-watching, fist-clenching, tooth-grinding, forcible exhaling, fetal position-adopting, back-cracking, sheep-counting, boat-watching, prose-writing alertness that convinces me that, one day, when the world thinks I am dead, I will be lying there in my coffin, breathing deeply and patiently thinking through all the words I ever said and that were ever said to me.

The Girl Can't Help It is on the idiot box. I'm an idiot for this movie. I bought it on VHS because there was no getting it otherwise. It's great. All the rockin' and the rollin'. The bluesy Julie London dream sequences. The sublime Little Richardliness of Little Richard. And Jayne Mansfield may be a poor man's Marilyn Monroe, but she sure is perfect in this film. Plus, she got decapitated in a car wreck. That's some tragic cred right there.


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     Mar 19, 2004


I'm sprucing up for yet another weekend visitor. My hands are cold and dry from scrubby chores. But my floors are shiny and clean and a portion of my clutter has been tucked away. Leaving space in the cosmic clutter continuum for me to crowd your eyes with pictures. Have at.


posted by Mary Forrest at 3:53 PM | Back to Monoblog

     Mar 18, 2004

This is nothing more than evangelism.

This song does something to me.

one man's righteousness is another man's
long haul, sentence carried out
long haul, counting the miles
to the four corners of the world

Buy the album. If you want to.

posted by Mary Forrest at 8:22 PM | Back to Monoblog

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"You tell me you love me, but there's hate in your eyes."

Another St. Patrick's Day when green was not worn. Not by me anyway. But I helped my friend Arthur celebrate his birthday, which involved karaoke, and I'm all over that. I don't know if that's what's given me a headache. It could also be chewing gum for too long. Or not getting enough sleep. Or not getting enough water. Or not getting enough Advil. But when my head hurts, I do tend to assume that it's because there's something out there I need more of. This is not a scientifically-founded hypothesis. It's just easier than deciding to give up sugar or caffeine. Or singing at the top of your lungs.

I feel a little raw from today. A little sore. I get more from the downtime than I admit. But I pray for the uptime all the while. How powerful long it's been since I've had a bit of up.

And what of all the fishy birthdays? My mother has a March birthday. And last night it was Noam's turn. And tonight, Arthur's. Tomorrow, it's JoJo. I don't really like birthday parties for me. Maybe I've always wished I would have a wonderful, spectacular one, but I haven't ever, so I prefer to just treat it like whatever day of the week it is. It's not martyrdom. It's the resignation of a busy girl with plenty of other things to eviscerate herself over. I don't know what I will do for my birthday this year. I have a feeling that it will be nothing much.

I get a kick from champagne. Who doesn't? But I prefer my Ketel One soda any day of the week.

These hips may never bear children, but it won't be for lack of having been made for it.


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     Mar 17, 2004

The tanked leading the tipsy.

I drove over speedbumps in quiet neighborhoods where I knew sleeping people could not hear me crying in my car.

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     Mar 16, 2004

"But first, the tranya."

The Corbomite Maneuver is on just in time for me to watch it from under the covers. Oh, Balok. I love that little guy. I don't have much to offer. I'll tell a story while I'm sleeping and forget it when I wake. I hope you relish it as much as I.

posted by Mary Forrest at 3:19 AM | Back to Monoblog

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Night Shivers

Alba found a piece of metal shiny in the gutter
She put it in her pocket and then squeezed it till it cut her
Danced across the intersection, bleeding from her fingers
And found a field of flowers where the bees had lost their stingers

posted by Mary Forrest at 2:50 AM | Back to Monoblog

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The Ides of March, Survived

A gallery of pictures of my haircut follows. Look at them. Or not. It's entirely your choice. And don't worry. I'll tire of all the photoplay almost as quickly as you do. Mainly because writing all this code is a bitch.

There's something almost disappointingly appropriate about spending the entire day talking shop at Jerry's Famous Deli. But life in this city is nothing if not disappointingly appropriate.


posted by Mary Forrest at 2:32 AM | Back to Monoblog

     Mar 14, 2004

Snip Snip

It is finished. And I'm fine with it.

I have a long switch of hair to go with the long braid that was cut back when I was about to begin high school. No one at the salon believed this is my natural hair color. I got some fruity-smelling styling products to help me aspire to rock-stardom. So far, no one has made a sad face upon seeing me. These are all encouraging things.

It was steamy and sticky and crowded at the Whistle Stop, but I danced for a while and felt my hair moving differently about my face. I'm looking forward to going swimming. Long hair is like tendrils of grasping kelp when you're putting the breast stroke into play.

For a day that had so many moments that weren't defeating, I guess I'm surprised at how downtrodden I feel. Tomorrow, it'll be something new. Something else. And who knows how that will feel or what it will amount to. I do wish I had more people in my life who could be counted on and whose concern for me could be deemed genuine. Finding friends and keeping them at this stage of my life feels a lot like trick-or-treating.


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     Mar 13, 2004

Truth or Dare or Dare or Dare

Ice cube down the pants. Hickey on the hinder. Strip tease to I'm Finding It Harder to Be a Gentleman. Simulations. Revelations. Kiss teaching. Only a miniature hangover this morning. A glance in the mirror says I look not so bad in this bra. As the fog burns off, I suppose it's necessary to ask whether I'm a little too grown-up for these shenanigans. But what, I ask you, are shenanigans for, if not to remind us that we are too grown-up for them?

The stage was fairly good to me last night. I liked much of what happened on it. A woman with red hair told me, somewhat on the hush as she was leaving, that I was the brains of the operation. I don't know what led her there, but I didn't fight it. And I ran into a handful of people, both at the theater and then later at the Alibi, who inquired or made comment about my absence from my former band. Supportive things were said. I was comforted. And I also noticed that these demons have long since fallen away. I haven't been mad in a while.

Today, as has been the plan for a few days, I'm visiting the salon with the intention of coming away looking different. I think I'm done with my concerns over the backlash that cutting my hair will cause. I'm not shaving it all off. And as far as I can tell, it will grow back, no matter what happens. I mean, I won't let them cauterize my follicles or anything. So there's no need for tears, you who would weep. And it would do the opposite of wonders for my self-esteem if I see you about town and you tell me what a shame it is. Dare me to cut my hair. I'm game.

But I've got to get going, haven't I?

Keeping young and beautiful,

posted by Mary Forrest at 11:55 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 12, 2004

Plush, human-size animal suits rule.

Trigger Happy TV needs a hyphen in its title. But in many other respects, it's quite good. I love the animal costume people running down the street or having lunch. I wish the world had that sort of business in it. Maybe it's my love of Star Trek. "Futuristic girl looks forward to interspecies dating." They played that song I love by the New Pornographers in the first few minutes of the show, The Laws Have Changed. Maybe they're referring to the laws about interspecies dating. And I thought I'd never live to see the day. I always had a sweet little crush on Morn from Deep Space Nine, for instance. If only t.v. was real.

Now, there's a man-size penguin standing on the side of the road holding a sign that reads, "I am a mirage."


posted by Mary Forrest at 2:10 AM | Back to Monoblog

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And when I touch you I feel happy inside.

They played the full clip of the Beatles' appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show tonight on Dave. It sounds like Paul and John didn't split for the harmony in places where they were supposed to, but it's a fine performance. They're so young and so eager. It's really difficult to believe how long ago that was. But the most remarkable part to me was how ridiculous the audience shots were. Especially this one gum-chewing, horn-rimmed-spectacles-wearing girl who kept having these giddy, geeky little clapping fits. I'll bet she was CERTAIN that Paul would marry her if he could only meet her.

When I was a very small girl, before I'd even begun school, I used to love to fall asleep on this orange and blue plaid wool blanket with a fringe border while the record player -- a big-as-a-freezer behemoth of a console deal with the looped fabric in front of the speakers -- delivered the dulcet tones of The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles' Hits, my very first exposure to the Fab Four. I Want to Hold Your Hand was the last song on one side of the record, and it was my favorite. I sang along to all of them, but that's the track that made me happiest.

posted by Mary Forrest at 12:38 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 11, 2004

Two reasons I'm glad I live in Los Angeles.

This and the traffic.

posted by Mary Forrest at 12:44 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 10, 2004

"I know you. I swear I do. You're just like me. You're sipping a cup of pity."


posted by Mary Forrest at 5:21 PM | Back to Monoblog

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Flawed. Organic.

I would like a place I could call my own
Have a conversation on the telephone
Wake up every day that would be a start
I would not complain of my wounded heart

I was grateful for things today. Sunshine. Motivation. Something like letting sandbags go from a hot air balloon. Even when I get caught listening to songs that tug at overused heartstrings. It's all going to be all right. Even when I listen to that Coldplay song and know the story behind it and remember hearing it played live at the Hollywood Bowl last summer. Oh, take me back to the start. It's just music, isn't it? Maybe it's something chemical and electromagnetic. You listen to it and something drips into something else in your brain and produces that sensation. I'm going back to the start. That heaviness in your chest. Exploding heart syndrome. Longing. Fondness. Love. Anything but regret. Just don't let it be that. Anything but that.

Cyndi Lauper is underrated.

Do dogs get sentimental? Do cows? I'm just made of meat and organs like them. But I have many kryptonites. And I get no pleasure from chasing rabbits. Nor from the taste of fresh-cut grass. And I nearly never go apeshit when I hear the phrase "treat treat".

I'm getting ideas. I need to go do something about them.

You may think that I'm out of hand
That I'm naive, I'll understand
On this occasion, it's not true
Look at me, I'm not you

I think my path will always be littered with reminders, strewn with the fallout of everything I do. It's like that with me. Everything reminds me of everything. Everything is a link to everything else. Bumpers in pinball. That one key on the organ that you push and it makes a bunch of other keys go down. Something automatic. Killing a flock of birds with one stone.

Just wait till tomorrow
I guess that's what they all say
Just before they fall apart

posted by Mary Forrest at 4:51 PM | Back to Monoblog

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Jerry Goldsmith Afternoons

Yesterday, my friend Mark invited me to see A Patch of Blue at LACMA. It was such a gorgeous day, and the museum campus was all abuzz with children in school uniforms and old ladies complaining about the service at the ticket window. Sigh. The film was wonderful. It set all manner of things loose in my head. How important it is to receive feedback from the outside world. How dangerous and damaging it can be to be isolated when the people who surround you tell you that you are worthless or ugly or unlovable. How important it is to leave the house and sit in the park. The gift of someone else's ability to see potential in you. There were other ideas churning, too. The danger of romance. Expectations being raised to only risk being crushed. Isn't it easier to live in the absence of those expectations? Wouldn't Eliza Doolittle have been happy enough and fine on her own? Was the improvement she underwent to her benefit? Even she fears that she has been ruined -- made a lady only to find that she can no longer live independently or respectably. This movie is another Pygmalion tale. Only it's Sydney Poitier and a blind girl. And the Jerry Goldsmith score is delicate and beautiful with tinkling piano keys and tender motifs.

After the movie, I stopped in at the exhibit of costumes and designs for the Ballets Russes, mostly by Erté. It was really inspiring. Beautiful and grand. The costumes are preserved beautifully and made of such delicate materials. And you can't get over how small those dancers were. And then you can't get over how intricately detailed Erté's drawings were. Gouache on paper with the tiniest, most uniform little strokes. Gorgeous stuff. If I were a temperamental girl., I would have burned the place down for not having thought to provide an exhibit catalog. I so wanted one.

Then I looked at the Jasper Johns' Numbers exhibit. Also inspiring. I can't laud enough the value of seeing works of art in person. Seeing all those clumpy layers of oil paint made me want to rush home and make a mess of my own on canvas. The ideas start cascading through my brain and I feel like rushing out of the exhibit before I lose them. This happens to me often at museums. Especially because I am a member and can get in without paying. I walk into an exhibit and can only bear to stay for five or ten minutes before the urge to run out and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT overtakes me. Not so, my father, who likes to look at every little thing in a meticulous and careful (read: slow) manner. You might catch him reading a placard with instructions for evacuation in case of fire, and, unless you tell him, he'll think it's part of the exhibit. It's modern art. How's he supposed to know? Anyway, no stone goes unturned or unread with my dad. Even when he was perusing my art journals. He's the only person who ever looked at them and actually read what I wrote. Many of my friends and family members paged through them with such swiftness I wondered if they were afraid of catching something if they were to linger any longer. Art journal cum flip book, I guess.

Then I went out to those brick steps and read for a while. Until I got tired of flicking ants off my arm.

I went to the gym today and am still being carried by that wave of self-satisfaction that comes from getting that chore out of the way. I always feel a little taller when I leave there. It's embarrassing to think how proud I feel after running in place for an hour. What would the ancients think.

On my way to the gym, I waved at my UPS guy and he flagged me down because he had a package for me. I realized how glad I am that there are people who know me in my neighborhood. Even if every encounter with him is guaranteed to contain two things: a package changing hands and the delivery of a compliment, innuendo, or proposition.

My friend Simon in Australia alerted me today that he hasn't been able to keep up with my blog as much because apparently my entire site has been blacklisted at his company for inappropriate content. I am both upset and delighted. What a weird thing. I guess, in the eyes of business owners, I say risky things. Simon wrote because he had received the postcard I sent out about my script reading. He said:

I've been showing off the card to people, it's not every day I receive
an invitation to a salubrious shindig on Hollywood Boulevard. It's quite
an honour. My little brother wants to know if you have written any plays
around one hour long for around six actors... I showed him the card and
then I was like "She does improv comedy and plays the violin and..." and
he interrupted with "I know who Mary Forrest is" while looking at me as
though I was a caveman. So there you go.

He also said: "In other news I have been doing weights." And he signed the email "Beefcake McMeataxe". Ah, Simon. Australia's finest son. I love that guy. He made me a CD a while back called The Mary Forrest Choice Bro Mix. And I always remind myself that these niceties are the product of the Internet, wondrous thing that it is.

One other impression A Patch of Blue left on me: Blind people must have really dirty hands. Watching Selina gingerly run her fingers over buildings, signposts, people, crosswalk buttons, and then begin serving food or leveling the instant coffee on the spoon with her fingertip or feeling the contours of her lover's face...well, you see where I'm going with this. I mean, they didn't show her washing her hands once. Sidney Poitier even sent her into a public bathroom alone. Imagine what she touched in there.

posted by Mary Forrest at 12:21 PM | Back to Monoblog

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All Tomorrow's Concerts and CD Purchases

I think there should be a section on all of those online communities for guilty pleasures. It's hard not to feel pressure, when listing your musical likes for instance, to edit in the hopes of tipping the needle towards "cool cat", or at the very least away from "total loss". You don't want to include everything on your current mixtape. And that's because I (this is where we change pronouns in the interest of honesty) listen to all sorts of music I'm not really interested in. And I'm frequently surprised to learn that I know all the words to song after song that I never liked -- even hated. I like Prince, but I never liked When Doves Cry. But play that track on the jukebox, and I can sing along. The spirit of something takes over. It's like the Banana Boat Song scene in Beetlejuice. Only I don't usually get up and dance. Why was Beulah listening to that Journey greatest hits CD in her car? I asked myself. And yet, there I was singing along. I think I even knew more words than she did. I own the album, as it happens. I may even own two copies of it. One on cassette. But that doesn't mean I ever say, "Journey, man!" when someone asks me what music I dig. And why am I able to tell it's REO Speedwagon's I Can't Fight This Feeling within two notes? And why is there room in my brain for so many Chicago songs? I'm no poseur. I admit to liking all sorts of things that no one else condones. I've seen "Weird" Al live. Come to think of it, I've been to a Jimmy Buffett concert, but I did not enjoy it and I didn't buy the tickets, so I'm off the hook on that one. And in the heyday of my concertgoing youth, I even went to see many heavy metal hair bands. And no I wasn't always wearing a blazer. Although on at least one occasion I was.

A partial list of the bands I've paid to see -- including non-optional opening acts and what I can remember of the handful of festivals I've been to -- would include: INXS, UB40, Sting, Social Distortion, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Scorpions, Trixter, AC/DC, L.A. Guns, The Alarm, The Fixx, Oingo Boingo, The Black Crowes, Slaughter, Jellyfish, Morrissey, Cocteau Twins, Concrete Blonde, Jimmy Buffett, Acoustic Alchemy, Billy Joel, Elton John, Weezer, No Doubt, Jane's Addiction, Soupdragons, Chemical Brothers, Ozomatli, Fatboy Slim, "Weird" Al Yankovic, Gangstar, Sigur Ros, Photek, Blonde Redhead, Pedro the Lion, Paul Oakenfold, Nikka Costa, Peter Gabriel, Stereo MCs, Cousteau, Tenacious D, Naked Trucker, Spinal Tap, Smokey & Miho, Starlight Mints, Steve Burns, T.V. Eyes, Seksu Roba, Vagenius, John Vanderslice, Jonatha Brooke, David Bowie, Macy Gray, Pete Yorn, Tori Amos, Rufus Wainwright, Joe Jackson, Duran Duran, Willie Nelson, Beulah, Calexico, Frames, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, White Stripes, Raveonettes, Neil Finn, Dolly Parton, Peter Murphy, Deerhoof, Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, Erasure, Ex-Girl, Future Bible Heroes, Lisa Germano, Jurassic 5, Incubus, Audioslave, Lake Trout, They Might Be Giants, The Shins, !!!, Iggy & the Stooges, The Mars Volta, Har Mar Superstar, Spoon, Cat Power, Liarbird, Jackie-O Motherfucker, Shonen Knife, Pinback, Aspects of Physics, Van Stone, NOFX, REM. So many more that I can't remember. And even more -- you may be dismayed to hear -- that I bought tickets to but couldn't go see or forgot to go see. Many here that I saw more than once. Some bands I won tickets to see but just didn't bother to go pick them up. I think I pay more attention to the omissions than to the entries. The shows I never saw are the ones most dear to me.

This is just recordkeeping. I try to see live music as often as I can. I love it. I'm the perfect temporary groupie. I often fall in love with a band upon hearing them for the first time. I buy a t-shirt and all their CDs and then never listen to them. Such fleeting devotion. I would hate to have someone like me for a fan.

posted by Mary Forrest at 1:45 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 9, 2004

Luxurious? Yes! Bug-infested? Also!

When I stayed at my parents' new house for the first time, I came home with a number of little bug bites. Near my ankle. On my hip. Right next to my arm, if you know what I mean. And I told my mom that the house might have fleas. They've steam-cleaned the entire place, but you never know with critters. My mother sent me an adorable email in which she "wondered" if I might have gotten the bites from Beulah's apartment. She suggested I come and stay again and see which of their homes has more fleas. I did come stay again, and I got more bites. My mother has this notion that when she moves into a new home, the bugs have to get used to her. She also congratulates all of us on having such delicious blood. "Must be because we're so sweet." Yes, Mom. It must be. As you can imagine, I am a big fan of this problem-solving technique.

I'm not terribly worried about it. We will prevail over the bugs. And I will still visit whenever I can. It's like a mansion, that place. My poor dad didn't get a chance to repaint the room he chose as his study before the move, so the walls are still a sort of purpleberry color. It suits me fine, as it gives me more opportunities to tease him about being gay. He loves that joke.


posted by Mary Forrest at 1:09 AM | Back to Monoblog

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"Oh, I like your poetry, but I hate your poems."

I don't want it to be summer again so soon. Not even for a day. I don't want the sweat or the restlessness or the lethargy or the memory of any of those things. I don't want to go get my electric fan out of the garage. I don't want to shy away from cozy.

I walked to the post office today with a stack of brown paper-wrapped parcels. They were playing The Carol Burnett Show on the television up in the corner. My family always laughed at Carol and company. I keep passing up opportunities to see Harvey Korman and Tim Conway live. I have no idea what their show would consist of. I just know that it seems to be priced at a dollar per year they've each been alive. Live entertainment is getting to be outrageously expensive. And for the actual transcendency of entertainment value, ticket prices are making heroin look more and more attractive.

Already a week of March gone. I can't say it often enough how much the passage of time amazes me. No, really. I can't. You should expect to hear me say something about it on a near-monthly basis. I'm like a child still fooled by a game of peek-a-boo. Every month I forget what's hiding behind the calendar page. Another month! Peek-a-boo!

February had many pretty feelings in it. A few days of blue skies and the reminder that nearly everything in the world is painted in primary and secondary colors. And all of the other colors come in your crayon box. Fill in the blanks.

posted by Mary Forrest at 12:56 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 8, 2004

"This world wasn't meant for us both."

Aboriginal instruments make music that is dumb.

Is it possible that the phrase "a long drink of water" when used to refer to a tall person is actually referring to the distance between the mouth and the urethra? If so, gross.

Zimbabwe's first president's name is Canaan Banana. Ha ha ha ha ha.

I was looking for Coachella tickets and the confirmation word was "ennui."

I'm so used to porn emails trying to deceive me with their inoccuous subject lines that when I saw an email with the subject "titfucker," I clicked on it thinking, "I wonder what this is." Am I too smart for my own good? I also received an email ad with the subject line "Suffer no more." Yeah, right.

Murder is funny. Until it happens to you.

In the Rolling Stones concert at Madison Square Garden they televised on HBO, Keith Richards said, "It's great to be here!" Then he said, "It's great to be anywhere." Then he shrugged and said, "You know me."

I got an email today urging me to hurry to get Thomas Kinkade's first painting of a Santa.

Here is some evidence that Mel Gibson isn't the only one who can offend the Jews, as presented by my family while we were driving somewhere and my mom was telling us about some guy (Note: My dad is Jewish, so this is all allowed.):

Mom: This guy was very Jewish. You can tell.
Dad: What makes you say that?
Mary (interjects): He was very cheap and he killed Jesus.
Mom (ignoring Mary): You can tell. He's very Jewish.
Dad: But what makes you say that? How do you know?
Mom: His name is Jim Schwartz.


posted by Mary Forrest at 7:18 PM | Back to Monoblog

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When the Body Gets It Backwards

Twenty-one hours now that I've been going. Many of them exhausting. And here I am, so tired that I can't rest. So desirous of slumber that I can't claim it. I'm sure I could fall asleep at a stoplight on most days. But here in my bed, I guess it's just too easy. Confound my overachieving Chinese insides. If only I could trick them into believing I'd rather be awake.

Do you know that end scene in Rob Roy? Not the gay homecoming scene. The one before that when Liam Neeson and Tim Roth square off with swords. It looks as if they tried to shoot at angles that would not reveal so readily that Tim Roth is just barely over four feet tall and that Liam Neeson is eight feet if he's an inch. Tim Roth makes a great powdery villain in that movie. Although I think this was the film that first drew my attention to the fact that he and Judith Light are the same person.

And now the birds have started up. Who likes the sound of birds "singing"? I mean, honestly.

This is what happens when what I seek evades me.

posted by Mary Forrest at 5:53 AM | Back to Monoblog

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The Sailor in Love with the Sea

Tonight, the spec script I wrote for Scrubs was performed at the Black Box Theatre of the Improv Olympic West. It was the culmination of eight long and grueling weeks of writing that felt more like self-performed surgery. As if I had to extract the dialogue from somewhere deep in my kidney and had only a fork and a pair of garden shears with which to perform the extraction. But, in the end, it was a wonderful experience and a minor triumph. Tonight in particular. I was bowled over by how many of my friends came out to see it, some driving all the way up from San Diego even. The place was full to standing room, and I was one more vodka tonic away from accidentally falling out the window. I needed it to take the edge off; I was fairly certain I was going to have a brain hemorrhage in the hours preceding the event. But after more than a day of not eating and more than an hour of only drinking and many hours of cursing the unseasonable heat, I was, shall we say, aglow.

I even managed to secure the generous participation of Neil Flynn, who plays The Janitor on the show and is really what I would call alarmingly -- even frighteningly -- funny. I owe a debt of thanks to all seven of my actors, and if it seems like I'm giving special recognition to Neil, it's because he's famous and therefore better than the rest of us. He also happened to be wonderful, and I felt thrilled and lucky. Hearing the words that I wrote being spoken and acted and responded to was first rate. Really. Especially when the laughs came in the right places.

What's interesting is that my inner hostess -- and this is another of the many stages on which I am known to perform -- was also thrilled tonight, because all of the refreshments I brought were consumed. All of them. When does that ever happen at a party I'm throwing? Never, that's when. Not because I serve gross things. But because I always, as a rule, have too much. This time, I did not suffer that same affliction, and it was a relief when I had to schlepp all of my accoutrements out to the car. Cheers for proper planning. Jeers for the parking regulations in this town.

I did put on a nice little reception, if I do say so. I had to run all over town yesterday to get the precise things I wanted. But I'm inclined to say it was worth it. If I don't get a job as a writer, maybe I'll find fortune as an event-planner. If I had brought those cream puffs I usually get, that audience would have been eating out of my hand. Especially if I filled my hand with cream puffs.

Beulah and my dad drove up from San Diego. My dad was sporting a scab from an injury he sustained last week when we went out to celebrate my mom's birthday. Something to do with the car door and getting his head caught in it. When I noticed it, I said, "Dad! What did you do? I can see the bone!" And he just laughed it off and dabbed at his head with a bloody napkin. Among the fam, we're going to start calling him Head Wound. Lovable nicknames go a long way. Poor Sam. I remember when he cut his hand with a chainsaw. I get a lot of my grace from him.

When I was walking on Hollywood Boulevard on my way to the theatre, I was averting my eyes from a transaction involving cash and illicit substances when I inadvertently -- what's the opposite of avert? vert? -- made eye contact with a bold fellow who looked right at me and said, "Now that's a woman. Beautiful." And I smiled out of embarrassment and kept walking, noting that he said it as if he was looking at a picture of me in a book. As if I couldn't hear it at all. Or maybe it was just that it didn't make any difference to him that I could hear it. Maybe that's what's meant by all this talk of the objectification of women. I don't know. I can't say I mind. On an iffy day, a good compliment goes a long way. Even if the bulk of my self-esteem-boosting comes by way of chatty hobos and sociable vagrants. Pretty is pretty, any way you slice it. Even if you slice it with a homeless knife.

I felt certain that at the end of this evening I would suffer a relief-induced stroke. But so far, so good. It's good to be done. Good to be going places. Good to be good at things from time to time. And if nothing else, it's sort of satisfying to have that stack of paper in your hand. A stack of paper too thick to secure with a regular staple. That's something for sure.


posted by Mary Forrest at 3:58 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 7, 2004

So full, the moon.

I remember in French class when we learned that the word for pregnant and the word for full had some usage considerations to be employed lest they be mistakenly interchanged. Something about pleine being the way to say that a cow was pregnant but not to say that one has had enough to eat. Anyway.

The night before last, the moon was so full and the sky so clear that, walking out to my car in the wee hours, the street and buildings looked to be bathed in blue sunlight. Like in South Pacific. That old Hollywood "trick" of filming night scenes in broad daylight. So, too, last night. Which was my mother's birthday. I called her and she was eating lobster.

The moon was full. The moon was pregnant with its fullness. Pregnant like a cow. Full like a woman. I'll get around the rules every time.

posted by Mary Forrest at 8:03 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 5, 2004

Get your click on.

It's just USAToday, I know, but there's a poll about the proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage up on the site today, and if you have the desire to weigh in, you should. I was somewhat heartened to see, when I voted, that I am among a sizeable majority of site visitors who don't think this amendment should be passed. 76.78% to 23.22% at last count. I can only hope that there is as large a proportion of reasonable citizens and reasonable congressmen. Not since prohibition has there been an amendment to the Constitution designed to limit rather than to grant civil rights. And never has there been a constitutional amendment that specifically denied certain civil rights to a named minority. There have been some astutely written articles recently, elucidating the madness of this move. This one from the New York Times, in particular, I found to be worth reading and on point.

Regardless of what you believe, religiously or otherwise, I hope that it's apparent to everyone that the so-called sanctity of marriage is none of George W. Bush's business. I wonder if all of this is just backlash against the years and years of comics who insinuated that his dad was married to a man all along.

posted by Mary Forrest at 1:23 PM | Back to Monoblog

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Martha Stewart Living

Am I wrong to dread the coming torrent of jokes about Martha Stewart gussying up her jail cell or teaching fellow inmates how to make a proper shiv? She was convicted of all charges. And I can't tell if I'm surprised or not. I guess when someone walks into a criminal trial, it's always fifty-fifty. But I can't help thinking about what certain people said when she was first charged, about how her celebrity worked against her in much the opposite way that O.J. Simpson's did. I don't know how I feel about the criminal justice system making examples of people. I think, generally, I feel pretty down on it. I feel similarly down on the criminal justice system turning a blind eye on good ol' boys who have greased the right palms. And I am cynical and idealistic at the same time about the role of judges in keeping everything kosher -- which leads me to my next big idea: robot judges, and preferably Jewish ones.

I do think Martha Stewart got a raw deal, and I'm not saying that she isn't guilty. I'm just surprised this wasn't handled in a less circus-like manner. And I was wryly amused at how little press the release of Erbitux, ImClone's miracle colon cancer therapy, got when it finally happened. After all, that's what all this hubbub was about. Miracle drug. Shady test results. FDA debacle. And the sad fact was that colon cancer sufferers were seeing remarkable results with this drug, but they weren't able to get their hands on it because of the bureaucratic complications. Now, Erbitux is finally available, and it seems strange and sad and slightly unfocused that no one really cares about that anymore. The fact that Martha's daughter was dating Sam Waksal (or that Sam Waksal seemed, to me, both reptilian and undateable) was just a curiosity. And the likelihood that both Martha and her daughter received inside information is huge. I just think that lots of people trade on inside information without even realizing what they're doing. It's just that if they're like me, they still manage to lose their shirts and the government doesn't take an interest. The government is only interested when you keep your shirt and also get several new ones and perhaps an outrageously expensive handbag (about which who cares really). There was a great article in Vanity Fair about the backstory on this in May of 2002. I read it on the plane to Boston. I think I read that issue cover to cover, and I wished that I had time to do that more often.

I doubt the feds would have gone whole hog after someone with less of a household name than poor Martha. She wasn't even charged with insider trading. They're just hanging her out to dry on obstruction of justice and making false statements -- cases which can almost never be made without the preponderance of evidence coming from hearsay or the word of one person against another. It's not that the dishonesty isn't important -- if it did in fact happen -- it just seems like it's crazy to convict someone for lying about a crime you don't care if they committed. If they didn't charge her with insider trading, what difference did it make to them whether she lied about it? Am I totally outside the park here?

Anyway I wonder if justice will be as deeply hued in the imperious palette of self-righteousness in the outcome of the trials involving Enron and Worldcom and Tyco. If Jeff Skilling doesn't end up making license plates, I don't want a license plate anymore. Okay, so I might need to look into more effective means of protestation.

Last night, my friend Steve was in a bit on the Jimmy Kimmel show dressed up as a girl scout selling an armload of cookies. And I told him that I still have girl scout cookies from last year, possibly even the year before, in my cupboard. I should know better than to ever buy them. I hate supporting causes with my patronage anyway. And I have a feeling girl scout cookies are racist. This made Steve laugh.

posted by Mary Forrest at 12:33 PM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 4, 2004

The trick is not to mind that it hurts.

I am tired and wounded and weepy and not at all the vision of myself that I project. I don't like to admit it. It's ugly weakness. The most despicable kind of frailty. My tears make me angry. And in the background of it, there is that guilty feeling that I will regret it all, let them all down, miss some opportunity that will haunt me when the ships have all sunk and the night is no longer a precursor to a dawn of any sort. I tell myself I never asked for this. And yet I also tell myself that everything -- all of it -- is my fault.

I am reading The Little Friend. In the later chapters, Harriet cries a lot. And I keep finding that I am crying with her.

I'm either going to toughen up or withdraw into a shell of some sort. It seems inevitable. This sensitive, emotional, tear-soaked me is no good to anyone.

posted by Mary Forrest at 1:52 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 3, 2004


You wouldn't believe the dreams I've been having. You just wouldn't believe them. And what's more unfathomable is why I allow myself to stay asleep and keep dreaming them when I could just as easily leap from my bed and remind myself what's real. But it's not my bed. And it isn't me. And the word "leap" makes no sense. None of it does.

posted by Mary Forrest at 8:19 AM | Back to Monoblog

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Bullfrogs and Butterflies

It never lets up. I keep catching myself with a pained look on my face. Even when I think I'm expressionless. I drove beneath an ominous black sky, with thunder and lightning cracking the blackness in two, and firm, heavy raindrops pummeling my windshield. Relentless little bullets with every intention of eventually breaking through. Like Armageddon in Escondido.

I voted. I got my sticker. And I spent very nearly the balance of the remainder fretting and trying and hoping and failing and wondering how long it will be before I can get through an entire day without a reason to cry or at very least the urge to.

If the stress doesn't kill me, the stress will.

posted by Mary Forrest at 1:22 AM | Back to Monoblog

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     Mar 2, 2004

I got an A in Civics.

Freshman year. Academy of Our Lady of Guam. Mrs. Dent. Sarah stayed up and tested me on my exam questions all night, and I got a 100 on my final. Actually, I think I got an A+ in the class. I got top marks in my college political science classes, too, although my teacher asked me to start typing my papers as my handwriting was too small for him to bear. Anyway, I was a good student when it came to matters of government, so you can trust me when I say that, if you have the right to, you must go out and vote today. For if you don't, you are an asshole. And if you see me about town, please compliment me on my "I Voted!" sticker. I will be wearing it with pride.

posted by Mary Forrest at 12:50 PM | Back to Monoblog

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The Time It Takes

A band was playing a rendition of Fooled Around and Fell in Love on one of the late night shows after the commercial break one night. A former boyfriend of mine used to say that, if we were to get married, he would want that song to be played at our wedding reception. It meant something to him, I guess, about playing the field till it's barely recognizable as whatever substance a field is made of and then suddenly finding love and knowing that this is something somehow different. I always thought it was corny, and I didn't like that song much. And I guess I wasn't in a place in my life where I wanted to be picking my wedding songs. I wasn't planning to be married right away, and who knew what songs Sting might have written by the time I was ready. Of course, that was back before Mercury Rising was released. Anyway, at the next commercial break, a spot was playing Rhapsody in Blue as its soundtrack. That same former boyfriend really loved that tune. Though he only ever referred to it as something having to do with United Airlines. He even put it on a mix tape at one time.

While I was going through old boxes from storage, I found heaps of cards and letters and things from him. All effusively adorned with tender sentiment and awestruck appreciation from a guy who claimed again and again to be unable to believe that he had been lucky enough to find someone like me. I was surprised, in a way. It's been so long since I have had cause to revisit any of those memories that they had very nearly ceased to be. It was like opening a stack of letters you had never received and reading them for the first time, years and years after they were written. It made me think of that part of Amélie when she pieces together a letter that was never written, professing a love that did not persist, all to mend the still-broken heart of a woman who now need no longer believe she had been scorned, replacing that bitter ache with the sweeter one of having been robbed by romantically tragic circumstances. I could pretend that someone had done something similar for me, but the letters weren't really that good.

There's no real reason for this reminiscence. Just artless indulgece.

You can't lose your innocence twice. But you can wake up and find that there was more of it to lose. And as it ebbs away, you can notice how much has passed from you. And mourn it.

One of the guys on my Yahoo! group (Yes. I have a Yahoo! group. Shut up. You're just jealous.) asked for my review of the Oscars, and I'm going to cheat and crib from a message to one of my friends on MySpace:

I didn't get to hear much of them, because I was at a party full of overloud Improv Olympic people, and I didn't get there until late. The kind of late that you are when you get lost in Silverlake with nothing but a Mapquest printout and a frustrated look on your face. But I didn't see anything that gutted me. I expected Peter Jackson to win, but I kind of wish The Return of the King hadn't gotten quite so much lauding. On its own, it wasn't that great a flick. I liked the first one better. And I didn't care for the Annie Lennox song at all. Drab and uninspired. Even though Fran Walsh keeps dedicating the awards it wins to some dead kid. And I'm glad Sophia Coppola won, although I hear a lot of balking because her "script" was largely improvised. I didn't see Cold Mountain, but I'm certain that Renee Zellweger didn't deserve the Oscar, because I find her appallingly ugly. Nicole Kidman still looks insane. Johnny Depp was awfully good-looking. And I was surprised Sean Penn actually showed up, even if he was considered a shoe-in. I wish Bill Murray had gotten the statue, but I think Sean Penn was a class act, and I can't begrudge him any victory. I wonder if Madonna was happy for him or sad.

And there are still a lot of movies I haven't seen. But that duet with Will Ferrell and Jack Black was worth the money, huh?

In its original form, this message was riddled with typos, because I was fairly swimming in cabernet by the time I wrote it. But I forewent the use of the [sic] business because I have no fear that I might one day sue myself. It was also considerably shorter, but I'm an editor and an embellisher and I never waste the chance to get it right the second or third time. It's in my blood. Anyway, that's that.

I spent today with Josh. He's moving. I was helping. It's funny how cleaning someone else's bathtub can take your mind off things. But then I am also empathetic to the upheaval of moving. And to the emotional havoc that can be wreaked by opening those old boxes and finding what's inside. And I looked around Josh's place -- the artsy digs on Western that I have visited enough times to know where to park if you're smart -- and I saw it empty for the first time, and that reminded me of the night I went back to San Diego when my parents had completely cleaned my apartment and I was going back to turn over the keys. It was strange to be there at night and all alone with absolutely nothing in the place -- to be reminded of how it had looked when I first moved in. How big it was and yet how small. And all those ghosts traversing the grey carpet. Josh's carpet is grey, too. But that was no big deal. My hands were so cold today.

It's no fun to move in the rain. And it's no fun to come home cold and wet and with a headache. But it's great to be a good friend and to be told so.

These pictures were not taken today.

In like a lion? No. Not me. March maybe. But not me. I wonder if lion tastes as good with garlic and rosemary as lamb does. I'll bet it's gamey. I don't think I'll have any this time, thanks.


posted by Mary Forrest at 1:41 AM | Back to Monoblog

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