Oct 29, 2004

Fleeting Fame Finds Me

Hey! I just read an email notice that my moblog is Editor's Pick on textamerica.com. Not half bad for a blog that is nearly nothing but pictures of my head.

posted by Mary Forrest at 4:48 PM | Back to Monoblog


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Is that the finger I think it is?



Apparently, even my dog occasionally tires of my incessant shutterbugging. My friends may hate the frequency of my snapping, too, but they're usually less overt. In some ways, you have to envy animals, don't you?

Note: My dog was just sitting there when this photo was taken. She does not have the ability to flip the bird. If you are a novelty act talent scout, please do not contact me. But isn't the depth of field cool? If you are a photography talent scout, please contact me immediately.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 2:13 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 28, 2004

Continuum

My friend Mig posted this awesomeness.

posted by Mary Forrest at 4:38 PM | Back to Monoblog


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There are flies on the windscreen, for a start.

Sarah just called to tell me that our cousin Michael passed away this morning. Yesterday, we found out that he was in a coma. I don't really know any of the details. Only that he was in Israel and that he was HIV-positive and that he was the closest thing to a son my dad ever had and that he was my Aunt Geri's favorite person in all the world, her grandson. I hadn't seen Michael in years, but I remember him treating me like a person even when I was a little child. And I remember going swimming with him in our pool in Northern California. I remember those things with great fondness.

Last night, I wore a black turtleneck sweater that I haven't worn in a while. I always have trouble finding it when I go to look for it. A sea of black knits to rifle through. I hung it over the back of a chair in my room last night when I was getting ready for bed, and this morning, I picked it up and caught that familiar scent that many of my sweaters have. My perfume. My skin. My sweat, I guess, if we're being grown-ups about it. Nowadays, that scent always transports me back to one very specific point in time. One very specific night in an autumn of a few years ago. When my sweaters brush past my face and they carry this scent, I am taken there immediately and without fail. And without reprieve. This sweater has been sitting in a drawer for at least a year. Possibly two. I might have put it away without washing it -- you can do that with sweaters, right? as long as you don't wear them for an impromptu game of touch football? -- and it sat there in my drawer, waiting to be sent back into the game. Dormant. But the scent stuck with it. Even my washed sweaters seem to hang on to a bit of it. Something that would seem to be the most organic and impermanent quality. It lingered. As if there was something living on in my clothes. As if some part of me might live on when I am absent. You can smell my perfume when I leave the room. Sometimes you can smell it when I haven't been in the room for days. There are fingerprints on things that I don't remember touching. There are flower petals pressed between the pages of books. Some of them have fallen behind pieces of furniture. I won't remember I own them until it's time to move. There are notes I wrote and left. There are songs I made up. There are expressions I make with my face that only people who know me understand. There are ashes in my fireplace and dishes in my sink. There are reasons for me to be remembered. Perhaps enough to outnumber all the reasons I should be forgotten. There are desk calendars I wrote things in. Documents of my passing. Scribbles that tell where I was supposed to be and where I went. I got an incredible feeling of déja vù the other night at Matt and Lesley's play. I think it was during the synchronized swimming portion (which was my favorite part). And there is no way I had seen it or knew what it was going to look like, but it was like I was seeing something so familiar. Like I'm living my life in a loop. And I keep passing by these same scenes. Maybe it's how we deepen the grooves, deepen the footprints. Maybe it's how we prove it.

The scent of my sweater, especially right at the neck, makes me think that parts of us live on, even when they're tucked away in a drawer. Even when they dwindle in disuse. People persist in the world. Even when you haven't seen them since that time you went swimming with them in the pool in your backyard. They stick around with you. The only afterlife I can conceive of is the continuing story of everything you ever did being passed down in an oral history to the people who know your name. Heaven is when they only retell the good parts.

posted by Mary Forrest at 2:58 PM | Back to Monoblog


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Absence and What It Makes

I went to the Brendon Small Show tonight. It was great great. I can't wait to put up a sketch show I can really get excited about. Well, when I say I can't wait, I'm being somewhat extravagant. Sure I can wait. And I will. As with everything. I live my life on a train station platform, bags in hand.



This is a photo of my little one. Martín called her "Audrey-D2." Her shirt says, "Star Wars." (I had it made for her at Neighborhoodies.com. Let's be honest; I had a few things made there.) Even my dog has to subscribe to my geek chic. Poor thing. Anyway, it's the cutest thing in the world, seeing her in it. And it's soft and cuddly and keeps her from getting quite so much fur on my clothes. Plus, if she's embarrassed, it doesn't show. She's a cooperative little angel.

I was thinking about how we say we are missing something or someone. How it sounds materially as if the something or someone has been excised, amputated, cut out. That it must have been an actual part of you in order for it to be missing from you. So that explains the tenderness. The soreness. The hurt. Even when they cut your leg off, you keep feeling it ache. And it throws things off kilter when you expect there to be more people in the picture than actually show up for the shot. You can't leave room for the no-shows. The picture would be full of holes.

I say I am missing things all the time. Whether it's a pair of sunglasses or a dear friend. I'm always noticing the holes. I'm always counting the empties. I'm always taking stock of the inventory that never made it to the shelf. I wonder how huge and enormous I would be if I had everything with me that has fallen away over the years. Maybe that's why certain handbag animals molt.

I don't think absence makes the heart grow at all. I think it makes it shrink and shrivel like an unattended piece of meat. But I'm no scientist.

The world is full of phantoms.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 1:47 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 27, 2004

Gravy

It's a little surreal getting pinkly out of a scalding bath at four a.m. Even when you keep my schedule. But the rain and the stretching on of things kept my feet cold and wet in their shoes for far too long, and I don't need another opportunity for my mother to lecture me about the value of vitamins. That's a dead boring lecture. There aren't even any circumstantially funny parts. Unless you maybe get a chuckle out of talking about the color of your pee. I don't. Unless I'm really drunk. And my mom is seldom up for that. Anyway, so I boiled myself for a bit to make sure my chilly tootsies didn't hasten my succumbing to the unenriched elements.

I had a nice time tonight. But my eyes are tired. And I'm looking forward to falling asleep to the sound of the rain.



Incidentally, Carl Weathers adds so much to a movie.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 4:40 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 26, 2004

Ballot Practice



My schedule careens further and further out of whack with every day that passes. I was up working until after six a.m. yesterday, and then the day seemed so short, and I had work to finish. Matt and I went to the Farmer's Market and shared a pitcher of Stella Artois. And then I went to meet Chris at Cinespace for Channel 101. Steve was there with a wizard hat on. I shook hands with a lot of people. Was introduced to a lot of people. But I'm pretty sure I've forgotten all of their names. Suddenly that infomercial with the memory "system" seems appealing.

Rather than scurry over to the Big Foot Lodge, I made Chris go to Pink's with me, thus popping his Pink's cherry. We ate the junkiest of junk foods at my dining table and talked until I felt guilty for keeping him out so late. It's always the way with me. I wish everyone would want to be up with me all the time. And I secretly hope they won't feel it the next day. But inevitably, people have to go home. Someone needs to call it quits. The party is over. There are plenty of cases in my life when I find myself hoping that if I cover all the clocks and shutter all the windows and manage to keep a low profile when anyone asks the time, the people I like to be with won't notice that any time has passed, and maybe we can have an amazing time together forever. But I realize this has the sound of a manifesto written by a soon-to-be kidnapper. Don't worry, friends. I won't keep you against your will. I won't lock you up and not tell you what day it is. I just secretly wish that every now and then you wish that I would.

I took plenty of pictures. And I will be glad when my new Canon shows up. The stupid LCD on the one I bought is making my picture-taking so random and risky. It's like strapping a camera to the paw of a bear and then seeing what photos he managed to take by smacking the camera against a tree in an effort to get it off. I prefer more deliberate acts of art myself.

When Matt pulled up, I was walking my dog, and I was wearing knee socks and tennis shoes (the cute Donald Pliner ones I recently got), and he said I looked like a super hero. I'm fine with that.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 4:16 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 25, 2004

"I wanted to be the god of irony. But that went to Ironicus."



It was so beautiful today. We went to the Grove and the Farmer's Market for lunch, and there was this amazing, great band playing between the Cajun place and EB's (the place where you can get all those pitchers of beer). They are called The Lucky Stars, and they are my new favorite next thing. I love the clever lyrics and upbeat despair of that kind of mid-century country music. And I do love me some steel guitar. I guess it's called "Western Swing." Which makes sense, as a number of couples of varying ages got up and did their little swing dance routines. And then there was the old dear with the hunchback and the bright blue and yellow sweater. She danced up an endearing storm. And then asked the band if they knew On the Road Again and was offered an apology and declination.

Anyway, it made me feel good. We stuck around for a while, even after we finished eating, and if they'd ever gotten around to breaking out their merch, I would have bought it up. Nearly all the songs were laments about betrayals and jiltings and other sad fare, but that's the thing about that kind of music -- it's a sad that has a bit of irony in it, and that is its own triumph. I ate a hamburger with a fried egg on it, and that was grand.

When She Was Camera

Yesterday, we did some Melrose shopping and then some La Luz de Jesus shopping. There are Joe Sorren paintings at La Luz right now that make me wish I had $14,000 to spend on a painting. He is a big, fat genius. And I am tired of not being wealthy.

There were other pieces in the gallery, too. And a few of them made me feel all itchy to scatter my art supplies across my dining room table and begin again. Begin. Begin something. Continue something. Be in the middle of the something. Be immersed. I want to play with the layers and not worry so much about what parts get covered up. I look for the moment when the mess becomes something lovely. And I'm not making any sort of reference to my morning routine. There's only so much mascara in the world.

The bathroom at La Luz de Jesus is all pink inside.



Do you like being a liar with pants constantly on fire?

I do so love the sweater weather. Sweaters and skirts and pants cuffed to the knee. I've been wearing my share of those. And tee-shirts and pigtails and even some hats. I've been enjoying the season and the use of my fireplace. And I plan to play more music before the year is out.



Another genius whose art I love is Aaron Kraten. I don't have all that much wall space, but a bit of it has his name on it. Which reminds me, I have like a hundred thousand dollars worth of framing to do. I need to start cozying up to the apron-wearers at Aaron Brothers and pronto.

I can smell the ashes in the fireplace, and I know that dawn is coming soon. I wish I had gone to Disneyland with Michelle today. I love it there.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 4:41 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 23, 2004

Next Year in Mos Eisley

I love watching Star Wars with Martín. We had the most fun and made the best comments and the best jokes. I remember when the special edition releases came to the cinema and we made such a big deal about going to see them on the days they opened. I think I had to take the day off from work to be able to see Empire in that big theater in Mission Valley that has since been turned into a church. When the opening titles for A New Hope began to play, I asked Martín if he was feeling a sudden thrill, and he admitted that he actually was. I love that we both still get boners over Star Wars. That we're cool enough to not feel the need to divorce ourselves from that piece of our history. And that we're cool enough now that we can notice the things that don't make sense or that need making fun of.

Eventually, we were joined by Beulah and Justin and Matt. And Steve held his cell phone up at the El Rey so I could hear William Shatner "singing." I got the best of all worlds. We didn't make it through to Jedi. Beulah doesn't approve. But the night was full, and that's what counts. And I laughed a lot. And Martín will be sorry in the morning, but sometimes that's the price you pay.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 4:01 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 22, 2004

Star Wars Trilogy, Fuck Yeah

Martín and I are getting drunk and watching my Star Wars DVDs, instead of everything else I thought we were going to do tonight. It's the best thing ever.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 8:06 PM | Back to Monoblog


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"Never give up."

TiVo faithfully captured The Office Christmas Special for me tonight. I downloaded it ages ago, but I never managed to watch it. And now it's on back to back to back to back on BBC America. And I've finally seen it. And it just broke my heart. I guess I would have felt sad if everything hadn't worked out the way it did, but I'm plenty sad anyway. And a MySpace friend of mine (Jude) posted a Pablo Neruda poem that is aptly entitled Saddest Poem to the bulletin board tonight. Perfect.

It's not like I don't want other people to end up happy. Or that I don't believe in happy endings. Or that I don't know what it all feels like. I just miss the ghastly, glorious feeling of being in the spiny clutches of romance. And I've lately begun to wonder if I've ever had any idea about love. If I might have been confused about everything all along. Sometimes it seems that way. As if I might have just gotten it wrong. When I'm really honest about things, it's hard not to conclude that I was only pretending all the while. Getting used to something doesn't make it real. Or wonderful for that matter. I mean there are people out there whose love I thought I would never ever be without, and they don't even know my phone number anymore. Maybe perpetuation is a delusion. And I guess that's fine. I wouldn't want to receive calls from plenty of those people. I'm sure there are precious few things that are great enough to last forever and still be of any use to anyone. Even petrified forests must snuff it at some point.

And of course it's only a television show. And there's this whole business of actual life to contend with. My time is slipping away as quickly as theirs is. I'm widening my eyes at how many things are already a year behind me. Two years. Three. I'm incapable of handling that sometimes. I'm prone to feeling weepy and soft and blown to bits by it. I don't look in scrapbooks much either. Sometimes I prefer not to remember. Sometimes I don't like being able to see the trail I've left. My footprints always look too big to me.

My feet are cold, and I'm going to light a fire. Which means I will be up for a long time, because I don't like to waste, and I worry that the fire will be lonely.

It's been years. For them.

posted by Mary Forrest at 1:14 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 21, 2004

Good Dog

Krissy and I went to see Lesley and Matt's play. We had to pick up Gordo at UCLA. Then we ate yakitori and drank beers and waited for Pam and Tom. Then we went to the play. Then I drove Gordo home and met my pals at Liquid Kitty, where a very forward guy asked if he could buy me a drink. I let him, but I shouldn't have. He kept putting his hand on the small of my back and paying me the following compliments: (1) "I like your height." (2) "You have a great body." (3) "I like your turtleneck." Yeesh. He and his friend found their way over to where my friends and I were congregated, and I kept being certain that the other guy was going to suddenly shiv Tom in the gut or something. I just knew we were all going to end up murdered and in a ditch somewhere.

But I was wrong. We just got a few free drinks out of the deal. And had to spend far too much of our evening making nice with two guys who bored the shit out of us in an overly familiar way. In the end, I don't think those drinks were free. Lesson learned.

Tom and Pam and Krissy came back to my place, and we ordered pizza and watched the Ali G. movie and drank a few more beers. And if it weren't for people and their annoying work obligations, I'm sure it would have turned into the finest of pajama parties.

I was tired most of the time. Ready to call it a night long before the night had even begun. But that's the way it goes. In the end, I'm always glad I persevered. In the end, I'm nearly always glad I chose this rather than that.

The coming nights are full, too. I like having so much to look forward to. And yet I find myself shrinking from the idea of it all. I shouldn't give myself so much time for second-guessing. The second guess is always the wrong one.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 3:34 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 20, 2004

"I love you, mother father."



I feel as if I made some strides today. And not just because I wore fabulous boots or because I kept thinking my skirt was too short when I felt the breeze up in my nethers. I mean thoughtful strides in the unearthing of difficult-to-unearth objects. Progress, maybe. The difference between flailing and upsetting. It's one thing to just flail about. But if you knock something over, too, then at least the flailing is productive. Right? Anyway.

My dream state is a plague. A blight. I have no further desire to know what my mind wishes it was up to. I am no longer curious what my secret self wants. I just want some rest. Damn it all.

Saturday, Steve and Chris showed me the footage of Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire. Watch it. It's all over the Internet, so you have no excuse to not see it. We screened it on Chris's Mac, after finding the Growing Pains reunion to be unwatchable. And not in a campy, kitschy way. Just plain unwatchable. I hope you missed it. And I hope you didn't bother to TiVo it. And if you did, I hope you deleted it before you bothered to watch it. We also watched that scary little midget guy on Jimmy Kimmel -- the new Red Sox good luck charm. They won a few games, so I guess that's something. But that little freak is a freak. I felt sad and dirty after watching his segment. Like I did after nearly every episode of Webster.

I forgot to mention that the hands-down funniest moment in Team America is the "signal." If you've seen it, you will know what I mean and agree with me. It's not what everyone will be talking about, but when you flash back to it in your recollection, you will laugh and laugh. Because it is fucking hilarious.

My dog doesn't like to pee in the rain. I don't think she likes to pee on my rug either, but it seems she likes peeing in the rain less.

Adam and I had a somewhat inspiring conversation today about the political process and what ails it. We talked about the fact that the mistake the DNC has made (other than letting Terry McAuliffe* anywhere near a camera -- or a decision for that matter) is that, in its desire to curry favor among swing voters, it has forgotten its liberal base. When I heard President Clinton speak earlier this year, he quoted statistics about registered Republicans and registered Democrats and pointed out that we Democrats are usually fighting that uphill battle of trying to convince the undecided to vote in our favor and also to turn some of the more moderate Republicans come election day. But what I've noticed is that the party's ardent desire to close that unfortunate gap has given it a case of tunnel vision. Because I listened to the third Presidential debate, and I was so discouraged to hear John Kerry continually touting his sameness. I'm like he is, he seemed to be saying. I own guns. I go hunting. I pray a lot. I go to church. And I'm not saying that he can't be a good Democrat while doing all of those things, but what I want is for the candidate of my party to finally do some damage to the crazy notion that a president HAS to do these things in order to gain mass appeal. That he must be a Republican, even if he's running as a Democrat. I want to elect a Democrat, but I want to elect his courage and his convictions and his ideas and his plans. Not his Republican outfit -- the one he wears when he doesn't think any of his Democratic friends are looking. The one he thinks will fool the neo-cons into thinking he's one of them. What a 21 Jump Street-caliber idea. I want to elect him because of how DIFFERENT he is than George W. Bush. Not because of how nearly the same he is. And I think the DNC has lost sight of that. I think they have lost sight of the need to give those of us out there with our hearts a-bleed a candidate we can thrill to. They need to give us a candidate that will win over the Nader-lovers and the fringies and the George Carlins who think voting doesn't matter because we end up electing the same guy no matter what we do; he's just got different initials most of the time. I'm tired of my electoral passion being limited to my desire to get my "I Voted!" sticker. I want the faithless to turn out to be wrong. I want to believe in a candidate and have him turn out to be a statesman. I want the system to work. Just once before it gets dismantled by Cheney and his gang of hard-arteried thugs.

I don't think John Kerry is a bad candidate. I just wish the party would let him run a little. Let him stretch his legs. See what he can do. And I wish that Howard Dean had been given an actual chance. Because I think the system needs some shaking up. And the country needs to be reminded that a bloody war was fought to keep us from being exsanguinated by the tyranny of the rule of the monarchy. Our government happened because of a desire to protect freedoms and limit the autonomy of the buearucracy. To give those without money or power or aristocratic privilege a voice and proxy. Someone needs to remind us that what is at stake in this election is not just a presidency but our very way of life. I know that will sound to some like liberal hyperbolizing, but I am dead serious. Josh and I went to see Paul Krugman speak on Friday night (he is brilliant, by the by), and it really is downright chilling to consider what has been happening in our country for the past four years and to tally the shockingly small number of voices who are saying anything about it. It seems unimaginable that the dollar will collapse or that a revolution will blister out of the fallout. But we've already seen a coup. I know people pretend this isn't the case, but the 2000 elections were a travesty. And if the Supreme Court and the Governor of Florida are allowed to APPOINT an executive this time around, I hope I won't be the only one on my block shaking my fist about it. We are a nation disenfranchised. And saying that in a roomful of people runs the risk of being transported into an episode of The Twilight Zone. I'm always talking, but no one seems to understand a word I'm saying. Anyway, that's why Adam is my hero. He actually bought a plane ticket and is spending his last pre-election weekend on the campaign trail in Ohio. I am not doing nearly so much for the cause, and I am ashamed of that. I contribute monthly to the DNC and the DCCC, but that's the laziest participation there is, and I know it. I'm trying to mask my shame by applauding Adam. I'm clapping extra hard. And if a Democrat is elected this November, I will give Adam all the credit.

I am reading a lot. I am catching up. I am getting caught up. In both the transitive and intransitive senses. I am keeping busy. There's work. And there's want. And there's trying to get organized enough to BEGIN. And I'm noticing that I'm using a lot of capitalization emphasis in this post. And I think that's EMBARRASSING.

Everything feels so new. Enough so that I get hopeful. That I get happy. Enough so that I want to see what I can get away with and to get away with all I can. I have not been feeling very poetic. But there seems to be poetry all around me. I find myself noticing little wonders all the time. And wondering if that makes me crazy. I'm reading psychology and philosophy at the moment, and maybe that makes me pay closer attention. Perhaps we are not supposed to be able to open our eyes to all that we experience for fear of being overwhelmed, but I do give it my goddamnedest. That I do.

You will notice the absence of a segue.

I think it is my father's contention that if a person does something bad to you, it is because that person is bad. Not because he is good but flawed. Not because he is usually good but the victim of a lapse. When a person hurts you or lies to you or treats you with disrespect or disloyalty, this is because it is in him to do it. When a person breaks a commitment, it is because the commitment was never real. A person who falls out of love with you was never in love with you. Oh, to live in a world that was so black and white.

The title of my post was exclaimed by a Japanese girl into Dave Attell's camera on a recent episode of Insomniac. I don't know why I wrote it down. It amused and delighted me when I heard it. And with all the delving I've been doing into what is broken in my brain, I sometimes feel the need to reaffirm. I do love you, mother father. I sometimes wish we could have done things differently, but I love you just the same. And I know you did your best. And I know it won't be the end of me. And I would like to believe there is a chance that we can all be happy without any of us having to lie about it.

The same goes for the rest of you out there whose approval has mattered to me or whose affirmations have superseded food and warmth on my hierarchy of needs. If I can make you believe that I was worth any of it, I might be able to get a good night's sleep after all.

But maybe not. I think sleep is overrated. And I do tremendous, amazing, inimitable things in the nighttime. It's not the shuteye I'm missing. It's the daydreams.

I'm thinking in spurts. It's symptomatic of something. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that everything is symptomatic of something. EVERYTHING.



*If you haven't already heard me say how much I hate Terry McAuliffe, you haven't hung around me much.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 1:04 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 18, 2004

play within a play



I went to see Team America: World Police today. And I thought it was really great. The songs weren't as brilliant as they were in the South Park movie, but this movie isn't really a musical, so it's not tremendously damaging. And for some reason Marc Shaiman wasn't involved this time. It was Harry Gregson-Williams instead. He's not awful or anything. But he's no Marc Shaiman. The lyrics were really funny, though. Thankfully. I was actually surprised to see Trey and Matt reuse the montage joke that was so funny to me in that Aspen timeshare episode of South Park. But they did. It's still a very funny joke, but it wasn't new to me.

The puppeteering was super great. Surprising and brazen and awesome. I like puppets anyway. I would have liked the puppets if they were made out of cantaloupes and pipe cleaners and didn't have any movable facial features. But this flick goes the distance. As far as I'm concerned, Thunderbirds are no longer go.

I could lick the rain from the sky, you know. Just lick it right up. I saw galoshes today, but I didn't buy them. I still like the idea that I might need them at some point, though. I like the rain. And I like the clouded face of the sky and the chilly, smoky scent of nighttime. It's been a banner weekend. And there's evidence even.

Here is a photo album posted by the lovely and brilliant Michelle. No one is more thrilled than I am when there is more than my camera at work. And here are my photos from the same night. I have also posted the rest of what I snapped on the Roundup page. Just sorting through all the photos and jottings-down and loose ends, I'm sort of shaking my head at all the time I did not spend sleeping. But I'm remorseless. Sleep is not the best stage for the picture play. What better time to squander youth than when you're soaking in it.

Some see a life as half full. Others see it as half empty. I see nothing but the cracks in the sidewalk.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 2:41 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 17, 2004

I love a rainy night.

Last night, it was sweaty libations at the Burgundy Room followed by sweaty, dancing libations at Beauty Bar followed by secret street meat followed by 101 Coffee Shop. Tonight, it was laughing long into the wee hours and drinking the booze I carry in my trunk and telling sordid stories and getting dirty raindrops on my white turtleneck.

I drove home long after closing time, through bouts of angry rain, with music playing on my stereo that reminded me of other wintry passages. And I got home to my doggy and took her for a walk with the rain still coming down and the sidewalks puddled and dark. There's a crazy huge raccoon cruising the neighborhood. When I was walking my dog at four a.m. yesterday morning, I saw this monstrosity walking right up the side of a tree. And we walked past it. And I wondered if it was wise to wander so close to something feral and icky that was already high above my head. Tonight, I saw the scary critter in the headlights of my automobile, as I turned the corner onto my street at an hour approaching five. And when I took my doggy out for a walk, I kept a wary eye out for rustling in the bushes and scary, glinting eyeballs. No encounters were had.

It was cool and grey today. Enough so that I wore a sweater with long sleeves and my favorite knee boots. I look forward to this weather. I look forward to my fireplace. I sit in anticipation of the lives I will have led when looking back from the precipice of other winters. I bought some gloves from Italy. Someday soon I will wear them.

It is imperative that I see Team America before the weekend is out. Imperative does not have a slew of alternate meanings. Take me at my word.

posted by Mary Forrest at 5:12 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 15, 2004

Secret Spots

Is there anything in the world I love more than racing the dawn home after an absolute exploitation of all that the wee hours have to offer? I submit that there is not. Tonight was a perfect adventure. A serendipitous bit of seat-of-the-pants flying. I thumbed my nose at the law. I broke my sugar promises. I drank until morning in public places. I took pictures like a blind person. I got to to the 101 Coffee Shop about fifteen minutes before they closed. Just in time to spike my drink and get things underway. I didn't even leave my house until two a.m. That's the way I roll.

My weekend began early and adventurously. I suspect that the next day or two will either pale in comparison or render tonight a flimsy bit of mediocrity. And either scenario would suit me fine. I'm all about superlatives. Make it the best possible thing or the worst possible thing. But spare me the in-between.

You carry around a bottle of Skyy Melon Vodka in the trunk of your car for a few months, and it's bound to come in handy. Lesson learned.

posted by Mary Forrest at 7:01 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 14, 2004

a practiced self-deceit

I am drunk and unable to cobble together the thoughts I was having before I sat down and set to the task of cobbling. Dinner at Table 8. Party time at Star Shoes. Ran into a friend or two. If it wasn't for my neurotic dog and the stress she imposes, the world would be close to perfect.

I didn't have my actual boogie shoes on tonight, but there were quite a few songs that made me want to christen the pair I was wearing anew. I did eventually hit the dance floor. But I was too far gone to make the most of it. I will do better next time.

The debates tonight were not nearly so provocative as they were last week. I was so bored watching them. I sure hope Kerry has it all sewn up. Because if he doesn't, I may have to blame it on all that god talk.

I spent a moment or two marveling at the passage of time. Marveling that it's the middle of October already. Marveling that it's been a year since last October. Comparing things now with things then and being relieved that I'm not stuck in the misery of my past. I don't know how time manages to stretch and strain the way it does. I don't know how it manages to squeeze and compress the way it does. I don't know the first thing about time. I only know that a lot of it has passed while I wasn't being vigilant. And I deserve a scolding for that.

I don't like scary movies. But there are a number of scary movies I want to see. It's a problem.

posted by Mary Forrest at 2:54 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 13, 2004

They were rolling out the red carpet today.

So what if it was for the premiere of The Grudge? And so what if I'm not in that movie? And so what if I was not even invited to the screening? I was walking past, and they were rolling the carpet out, and it felt for a moment like it was for me.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 3:36 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 11, 2004

Superman is dead.

Long live Superman.

posted by Mary Forrest at 8:27 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 10, 2004

It comes, and it goes.



The sequel to my pain opened in theaters yesterday morning. I spent the day in quiet anguish. Today was sunnier. Better. But I feel the walls collapsing again. I remember feeling cold a moment ago. I remember thinking about closing the window. I looked up and noticed that it was closed. But I don't remember ever getting up to close it. That's sort of what it's been like all week. Dream state. Doldrums. Fog rolling in. All the time.

Movies are making me sad this weekend. I'm sure it's just the downs of being less than perfect. Less than myself. I am a big wound. And the salt keeps drifting in.

I went a-thrift store-ing today. I bought a green typewriter, some paper dolls, and a stack of books I am anxious to decimate. I will make something of all of this. That is my pledge.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 7:52 PM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 9, 2004

Empty Threat Alert Level Orange: "He can run but he can't hide."

Democrats are too polite. Inside the Kerry campaign, after the second debate, Kerry's people are calling Bush's unwillingness to admit to mistakes "close to pigheadedness." Why can't they say the unwillingness to admit mistakes is pigheaded? Why can't they say, "He's lying." Why can't they use any but the most polite rhetoric when calling their opponents to the carpet. Republicans sling mud like it's hash, and no one seems to have learned that idiot Americans believe what they hear. So you've got to tell it like it is. Not with a sugar-coating. Not with the help of your thesaurus. But with the truth. And hopefully with fewer syllables.

posted by Mary Forrest at 3:04 PM | Back to Monoblog


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"That's what liberals do."

At the beginning of tonight's debate, I was going to ask you to explain to me the infinitely inflated value of the so-called undecided voter. Why do we care so much what these people think? In my estimation, someone who hasn't made up his or her mind at this point is more lazy than discerning. And while the outcome of the election may depend on how these twats sort it out, I don't necessarily think that their impressions of things should be counted as more weighty than mine. Yes, I'm going to vote for John Kerry. But why does that make me dismissable?

Well, Josh and I went to Cinespace to watch the debates tonight, and I have to say there are few better ways to do this. We got there nice and early, had a few cocktails and a little bit of food and got a nice table in the big screening room. And we got to take the whole shebang in in the company of our liberal compatriots, so that means everyone clapped in the same places and laughed in the same places and groaned in the same places. Which is not what would have happened if I had watched this with my family. I watched the first round of debates at Cinespace last week, but I was craning my neck to see the screen in the smoking lounge. This time, my view was unobstructed. As was my access to alcohol and french fries. But this was all new to Josh, and I'm happy that it went over so well. I was convinced that this namby-pamby "town hall" style of debate would give Bush far too much of an opportunity to use his supposedly vast folksy charm. But I was shocked to see Bush not just lose his composure but really never have it to begin with. From his very first leaving of his seat, he scolded his audience with a shockingly belligerent style. His posture on the floor was a sort of chicken dance, confusing emphasis with impatience. He seemed to be saying, "Don't you rubes get it?" with every argumentative sentence he uttered. He seemed angry. Defensive. Those chicken feathers were clearly ruffled. And I can't imagine his handlers did anything but shake their heads while watching. This was not the display that they intended. I'm sure of it.

I hated that Kerry had to keep insisting that he has been consistent. I realize it's one of the noticeable chinks in his armor, but I really wish a lot of this work had been done before tonight. But it's easy to forget about that when Bush is comparing the anti-American sentiment extant in the world today to the attitude of the Reagan era. "People love America," Bush said. But I don't know what he meant by that. He spent so much of the past three years telling us how much so many people hate us and all of our delicious freedom.

I also noticed that Bush seemed to want to remind us continually that he has actually been in the White House and the Oval Office. He kept beginning responses with phrases like, "I remember sitting in the Oval Office," or, "I remember sitting in the White House," or," I remember going to the basement of the White House," as if to say, "Hey, did you guys know the White House has a basement? I do. Because _I'm_ the President. I have been all over the White House. Have you? No. You're not as important as I am. Don't you get that?" And whenever Kerry was speaking, the cutaways to Bush's face seemed to be saying, "Come on, dude. Don't tell them THAT."

I kept hearing Bush reiterate phrases which had been obviously drilled into him beforehand. I know the speech writers come up with things for every candidate to say, but with Bush it sounds more like he's tagging up. He never seems to wield these phrases effectively. And of course he said something about rumors on the INTERNETS, and that got a big laugh from the audience in the room. And he also said something about the war (or something) being more FACILE, and I'm positive that's not the word he meant to use.

And when John Kerry delivered zinging retorts -- like when he said that, if Missouri was a country, it would be the third largest country in the "Coalition of the Willing" -- George Bush really seemed to be blinking a lot.

And when George Bush announced that it was going to be "a long, long war," I could almost see the foreshadowing of the run-up to the Constitutional amendment proposal wherein Bush gets to be president forever. Yikes. "Liberty can change habits," he said. But what the fuck does that mean? That sank in with about as much resonance as the answer he gave when that very direct man asked him about why he won't let us buy drugs from Canada and he said because he wants to make sure the drugs we take are safe. I applaud John Kerry for never once saying, "Yeah, right."

And then that creepy wink. Why was George W. Bush winking at people after not answering their pointed questions? I can't imagine they were winking back. When the CNN camera pulled in on the face of the woman who asked Bush to name three mistakes he had made while in office and he basically refused to, she did not look like she would want to be winked at. Any winking happening on that stony visage was going to be the result of an involuntary facial tick. "I went to Washington to fix problems," he said. I have no response to that.

I also noticed that Bush had apparently been counseled by his people not to call Kerry by name. He nearly always used pronouns or the term "my opponent." With the exception of the time he called him Senator Kennedy. And what was that about? That preceded his announcement, "That's what liberals do." I was surprised by that. Because although this was an audience of supposed undecideds, the questions seemed to have a decidedly liberal slant to them. Not the chick who doesn't want her tax dollars to pay for abortions and not the other chick who doesn't want embryonic stem cell research to happen. But pretty much everyone else. I was skeptical at first. But I love those Missourans. This "undecided" audience may just as well have been a bunch of Nader-lovers. Speaking of which, when the environmental question took to the air, I laughed when Bush touted his record of doing things "to help improve wildlife." Is he talking about the performance of beavers in standardized tests? I wonder what their reading comprehension is like. And then he said that he proposed the hydrogen automobile. And let me tell you, if this gets anywhere near as much play as the whole thing about Al Gore claiming to have invented the Internet(s), I will be a girl agog. Few circles are ever so complete. "You could say I'm a good steward of the land," got a particularly loud guffaw from the crowd around me. I was very happy when John Kerry responded by saying, "I'm gonna be a president who believes in science." So on point.

And the last straggling random comments I can make follow here. I'm glad John Kerry didn't back down on the embryonic stem cell research issue. I'm glad he made his case on the abortion issue. I'm glad that Kerry didn't let Bush get away with saying that ES research is "the destruction of life" right before he patted himself on the back for being the first president to have allowed some form of it. And I'm skeptical that Bush even knows what the Dred Scott decision was.

After the week I'd had, I was determined to get dressed and go somewhere today. So when I called Josh and asked if he wanted to watch the debates with me, the wheels started turning and all was well. I put on an outfit, reminded myself how to blowdry my hair, and we hit the town. And it was a lovely night. Yesterday was Marco's birthday, so we met him at The Abbey to celebrate belatedly. Pam and a friend of hers showed up, and I was pleased to see her/them. I don't see enough of Pam. She's another bust in my gallery of small crushes. Running into the various exhibits in this gallery is always a nice little boost.

When Josh and I were walking back to his car, we saw his friend Renato and jumped into his car. This sort of thing happens to Josh far more than it happens to me, I'm guessing.

So I think I'm back in the swing of things. Feeling pretty good in the corporeal sense and optimistic about Election Day. Some of the meaningless things I do feel a little more important than they used to. I really notice it when that happens. And I chatted for a bit with Mig in the din of the club. So, there you go. Everybody wins. Well, I do anyway.

posted by Mary Forrest at 1:42 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 8, 2004

Windmills do not work that way! Good night!

I should have spent the day resting, but I had a deadline to meet, so I worked and worked and worked. And the morning became afternoon became evening became night. And now it's whatever it is. I have afforded myself the occasional distraction. I have lost track of time. I have benignly watched a lot of network television. And I have a conference call to attend tomorrow morning. This is no gift. The one nice thing is that you can still say I always come through. Even in a pinch. Even in a weakened and feverish state. It matters far too much to me that no one be justified in saying that I ever let them down. That's what got me to miss a day of Comic-Con. That's how I managed to make my deadlines even when I spent the day a-funeraling. Priorities, friends. Plain and simple.

Things have been looking different to me this week. Maybe it's being so sick. Or being stuck at home. Or laying down and praying for death so much. Walking the dog when I can barely stand upright. Not being able to keep track of how much showering I've done. This is an unfamiliar passage in what is typically a very familiar chapter. I can't tell how I feel. Maybe I never can. There are a number of questions I have noticed I don't know how to honestly answer. When someone asks me how I feel (emotionally or otherwise), it's hard for me not to answer with my cerebrum. I have no capacity for taking stock of such things. I guess it's possible that no one was ever really asking before. It's possible that I have spent too long a season in the company of people who didn't care to know how I was feeling or who only asked believing they already knew the answer. I indict myself for not having given myself proxy. For not counting me. But I was merely following suit. There are ranks of those who didn't count me before I jumped on board. I remember being a little girl who shouted out what restaurant she wanted to eat at, only to be drowned out by someone else's logic or whining or force. It's no wonder I'm less likely to insist on anything anymore. And when someone offers to give me exactly what I want, I am caught between the rock of not believing them and the hard place of not knowing what to ask for. It's a snug fit.

I think I feel all right. The physical pain aside. I think I'm going to make it. And I'm happy about that. Let the games begin.

I also care deeply about things that remind me of myself.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 2:55 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 7, 2004

More Ad Watch

I don't care much about TIAA CREF Financial Services, but I love that they are running an advert with a version of Somewhere (from West Side Story) being performed unmistakably by Cat Power as its soundtrack. Chan Marshall needs to be heard and widely.

posted by Mary Forrest at 1:12 AM | Back to Monoblog


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Interrogatastic

There's this GMC commercial that says, "If an eighty ton bullet train can glide on air, why not your SUV? At GMC, our engineers don't just ask questions. They have answers." And this always makes me think, "At what company are there engineers whose job it is to 'just ask questions?'" And shortly after that, "I would like to work for that company." I'm picturing a busy day at the office.

Phil: What makes cereal taste that way?
George: How can we harness all the love in a star?
Hymie: What's on after ER?
Vlad: Who took a bite out of this doughnut and then put it back in the box?
Ed: Who cares about baseball?
Evan: Why do birds suddenly appear everytime you are near?
Rick: Why does everyone insist on calling me Ricky?

Wouldn't it be great to work at that place? I think even performance evaluations would be a blast. Use your imagination. See? Doesn't it rule?

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


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     Oct 6, 2004

I've never put much faith in Eastern medicine.

My mom tricked me a little bit. The doctor she took me to, whom she described as a Chinese doctor who practices Western medicine, too, is actually a potential business associate of hers. Someone who wants to work with her. I should have known when she showed up at my apartment and asked didn't I want to change. I didn't know she was hoping I'd make an impression. It wasn't atop my priority list, as I was sweating to death and bereft of energy. My fever had already broken, and I was taking my temperature like an OCD-haver. Believe me, it was not my great desire to leave the house today, devoid of make-up, damp hair in sloppy pigtails, shuffling along in my cute pink and white Pumas and rumpled pajama pants. When I took the bands out of my hair just now, my reflection looked to me like a sad little boy with hat hair. Believe me, that was not my plan.

We drove all the way out to Temple City, to a hole-in-the-wall clinic on the side of the road. The waiting room was warm. And the music playing in the PA system was horrendous. First some sort of Chinese opera and then a Filipina singing evangelical folk music, always slightly flat. And for some reason, they were keen to play her entire album. Because song after song whined forth. And when I pointed it out to my mother she said, in that way she has of showing you how she is better, "I just don't listen to it. Just ignore it. You used to play music that I didn't like, and I didn't complain." And I said, "Yes, you did," recalling the countless times she had pushed eject when the cassette I had chosen wasn't to her liking. And she said, "Well, it's different when you're in the car."

An older Chinese man in a wifebeater came out and delivered some herbs to a Caucasian fellow waiting with us. Later, that same wifebeater was covered in a white smock, and he was the first doctor I saw. Although he insisted on not being called a doctor. I presume because he is not one. I went into a cramped office with an untidy bookshelf and began to explain my symptoms as my mom helped with frequent translation. He asked me to say "aaah" and I did. Then he reached down and picked up a flashlight -- and I mean the kind you buy in a hardware store -- and shined it into my mouth as I continued intoning. He then reached down -- possibly onto the floor, I couldn't see -- and produced a wooden tongue depresser and put in my mouth. And that was about it. He prodded at my lymph nodes for a while. Then the real doctor, my mom's friend, arrived and did a few of the same things. At one point, the un-doctor reached across the desk and dropped a little needlepoint pillow that read "God Bless America" down in front of me. I wondered if this was intended to put me at ease. It didn't. But then the doctor reached for my wrist and placed my hand on the pillow as he felt my pulse briefly, and that made more sense. He diagnosed me as having some sort of infection and said that I am also suffering from exhaustion from overwork and too much stress. And my mom made a sound and a face that had an "I told you so" quality to them. I asked if it's a sinus infection, as I suspect it to be. And he dismissed that as immaterial. It's an infection. My desire for details apparently made me nosy.

While in the car, my mom had asked me if I would let them do acupuncture on me, if they suggested it. And I told her that I don't really have much confidence in acupuncture. I don't mean to be closed-minded. I just don't know that many people whose serious afflictions have abated at the behest of those weird smoking needles. It was no matter. They never prescribed it. But I did walk past a room with multiple exam tables in it and people with needles sticking out of them. And later, it smelled like pot to me.

The doctor suggested I receive an IV and take some herbs. I agreed, but no one ever told me what was in the IV (it looked sort of like iodine). Before they started me up, they offered me use of an abysmal-looking bathroom, but I did not have need of it. The un-doctor -- who was really very nice -- stuck me a few times in the crook of my right arm, but that didn't work. I have been told my veins are hard to find. I wasn't surprised. He ended up finding a vein in the back of my hand and administering the IV there. I had to lay there for an hour or so as the fluid drained into my bloodstream. My hand and arm began to hurt. Like there was an icy cold pressure being applied all over them.

And then it was over.

And my mom stayed and talked with the doctor a bit as I stood in the hallway and was bored. That happens when two people are chattering away in a language you don't understand. It left me the time and distraction to peer into a utility closet of sorts where countless jars and bottles and boxes and tupperware containers were stacked in disarray. The substances in them were mysterious to me. Some looked like cinnamon. Some looked like industrial solvent. Many of the lids did not look securely placed. Some of them were lidless altogether. I tried not to think too much about it. I probably ingest all sorts of things I wouldn't want to know about. This is just an unnecessary glimpse behind the curtain at the sad little man working the controls. And he doesn't have anything in his bag for me. My shoes are already awesome.

Epilogue

I just took my temperature. It's up well over 101 again. I'm anticipating a bit more up and down. I don't know if my symptoms will devour themselves or if I will be devoured by them. But people have called and cared, and that's lovely. I can be both overglib and overdramatic when I write, so I know that people don't always know whether to take my woes seriously when I voice them. Don't worry. It's not your job to sort it out. I am in a great deal of inconvenient pain. But I'm getting used to it. And my mom bought me take-out Chinese and then told me how much she likes Everybody Loves Raymond moments before she fell asleep in front of it. I think that is her favorite show. The one that puts her to sleep the fastest.

posted by Mary Forrest at 11:51 PM | Back to Monoblog


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For those of you who bought squares in the office pool

My temperature was down to 97.5 this morning, and now it's up to 102.0. The pain is pretty impressive. And I'm in bed with a ski hat on my head and a bunch of warm layers on. All black. I think it's just a sinus infection, but my friends keep saying the word "meningitis." And me without health insurance. If you love me, you'll vote Democrat. And I mean that.

My mom is coming sometime later today to take me to some doctor. I wonder if I should shower.

Audrey is gnawing on the zipper on my warm-up jacket, and I find it strangely comforting. Which means I'm nutters. Because I really like that warm-up jacket, and she shouldn't be getting her stinky breath all over it.

I'm taking my temperature...right...now...and the verdict is...102.2. Great. Hello, brain damage, here I come. I'm going to go get an ice pack. You should start composing something to say at my service.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 11:23 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 5, 2004

Happy Thoughts

I'm in unbelievable pain. I have a fever of 101.9 and counting. I called my mom and started to cry, and she advised me to think positive. "Calm down and think about being well." Oh, now she just told me to say a little prayer. Great. I MUST be dying.

This is not my finest hour.

posted by Mary Forrest at 11:45 PM | Back to Monoblog


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I've still got it.

As Mona Lisa Smile was beginning, I heard the score and thought, "Hm. That's either Rachel Portman repurposing her The Cider House Rules theme, or it's someone else pretending to be her." Sure enough, it was Rachel Portman. And it made me feel a little lackluster. I did so used to love the main titles from The Cider House Rules. I did so love it. The main titles for Mona Lisa Smile are so similar, though, it's almost like when The Simpsons parodies some well-known theme. Like that episode with Shary Bobbins in it. The tunes are nearly the same. Just the end tacked on the front or up when it used to go down and vice versa. It's brilliant when it's a parody. Less so when it's supposed to be something new altogether. Disappointing, in fact. And I hope James Horner is reading this.

Anyway, I guess I'm still able to spot a film music composer's work in a note or two. There are just fewer people in the world who will be assigning me any extra points for that. I should be more choosy about the circles I attempt to crash, shouldn't I?

What the fuck is Tori Amos doing singing in this movie? I mean, there's a lesbian in it, and I haven't been watching long enough to see if anyone gets raped or objectified, but that's borderline at best. I used to take her seriously. Sheesh.

I guess this movie means well, as so many do. But it's really just so obvious. And false. Like the seminal moment when they get to see the Jackson Pollack for the first time. Just like when Rose is all on about Picasso in Titanic. I love how movies want me to believe that people are ever forward-thinking without having to be. I have begun to believe that forward-thinkingness comes from being unable to artfully exist in the present. Progressive ideas come from dissatisfaction with the now. Dreamers don't like what they see, so they spring forward into what lies ahead. But so few of those dreamers are the pretty ones or the well-to-do ones or the ones for whom everything was always easy. I guess there are the Jacqueline Bouviers to consider. But I prefer to crankily dismiss movies that want me to believe that Julia Roberts can change the world. She can't. At least not until she learns to walk like a lady.

My MySpace friend Aaron messaged me this evening and expressed concern over my possible neck tumor, and I said this:

How serious can it be? I told my mom about it today, while laying in bed and feeling like utter crap, and she got off the phone in thirty seconds to take another call and didn't call me back for five hours. At which point she scolded me, saying she was teaching someone how to crochet. As if I should know better than to expect to supersede that.

Then she suggested I seek out Chinese medicine. Ha ha ha. If laughter is the best medicine, she may have just healed me.


I can crib from myself, can't I? I can repurpose my junk. At least I'm up front about it.

posted by Mary Forrest at 3:40 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Oct 4, 2004

They say, to play the blues, you've gotta understand pain.*

I hate it when I fall behind. And it's something I've been doing a lot of. Things I never said but meant to. Like when I was going to talk about having gone to see We Don't Live Here Anymore with Arthur and thinking to myself, "This movie needs a shave." That was ages ago. The first week of August. Practically dinosaur times. I hate that.

So now it's just about the week and what I've missed and what I hope won't get swept under the rug and what I want to emblazon on something. It'll end up coming out all staccato now. And that's a shame. My thoughts have a pleasanter rhythm when I'm first having them. But the things that stick out will stick out no matter what.

Arthur and I tried to see a screening of Beyond the Sea. When that didn't pan out, we went to Casa Vega and quizzed each other on our various desert island necessities. The last time I went there, I had just moved here, and it didn't seem real to be on Ventura Boulevard. It didn't seem like it was where it should be in my mental map. I was still staying in a motel back then, and getting there and eating there with a bunch of people who knew their way around was actually quite uplifting. The salsa is just as good as I remember it. And then Sarah came over. And Audrey bit her. I found myself a therapist at long last and met with her for the first time. I went to the Sunset Marquis, where Sarah was staying, and had drinks and was told that Jessica and Nick had just walked in, but I didn't care enough to turn my head and look. Who cares about them. I worked all night. Several times. Bryn and I caught up. I don't know if it was the food from Versailles or some other happenstance, but I was sick for a good long while from the middle of the night on into the next day. I almost didn't leave the house, but then at the last minute, Matt and I met at Cinespace for the debate-watching party there. I had a pretty obstructed view, but it was nice to see the spectacle in the company of compatriots. Tommy Davidson was standing next to me the whole time. I had to move because I was getting jostled a lot. I ended up in a corner where both the debaters' faces were usually blocked by light fixtures. It was just like radio. Afterwards, Matt took me to the Casting Office to celebrate Gretchen's birthday, and I had too much to drink. But that is always made better by a trip to Lucy's, so we made one. The dog trainer lost hold of Audrey's leash when they were outside alone, and I almost had a heart attack watching from the window. But Audrey ran to the door and wanted to come inside, and she probably has no idea how close she came to another mad race across busy streets. I like to think it's because she loves me now, but I still don't trust that she wouldn't bolt if the opportunity came. It's what min pins do. My Uncle Virgil is in the hospital awaiting some pretty hardcore surgery intended to prevent his having a stroke. Apparently, he had a minor stroke-like event just a week or two ago, and it brought attention to the need for him to have what amounts to bypass surgery on both the major arteries in his neck. He is my dad's best friend, and I hope he will be all right. I drove down to San Diego to perform at the comedy theater. We went to Fred's in Old Town for drinks and food. I wore white pants, thinking I loved them, but I saw my reflection and realized I couldn't possibly wear them, so I made a mad dash to the department store, where I bought several other pairs of pants to try on at Krissy's place before going to the wedding at which I was to be her surrogate date. The reception was in Rancho Santa Fe at the inn where I once played for someone else's wedding on a weekend in October three years ago. I saw some people I knew. And I drank the free booze. And then Krissy and I went to the theater to catch the last half of the last show before going out for more drinks at Shakespeare's. We ran into David and Janet, because it was about to be David's birthday. The entire team has a crush on David, so that was a treat. And when I speak for the team, I really just mean me. Yen invited me out to see Transfer, but I didn't get the message until late. I bought a Happy Meal on the way home and was not happy with my fries. My mom crocheted a little lavender sweater for Audrey, so she's been wearing that around. Her barking and viciousness towards everyone but me are wearing on my nerves. And an unmentionable part of her required expressing today. If you know what that means, you feel immensely sorry for me, as well you should. I thought about seeing some comedy but didn't. Passed on seeing I Heart Huckabees. Passed on drinks. Drove home later than I planned. And I'm beginning to worry that I have a tumor in my neck. Seriously. It's like it's god's way of helping me choose between the HMO and the PPO I was about to sign up for. Considering how much I'm going to have to pay for the coverage, I almost hope I've got something that will kill me sooner than later. My mom would be upset at me for saying that. I had some sketch and short film ideas this week. And I actually wrote them down.

My neck really hurts. And there is a weird little bump in it. I hope it's nothing that will require me to wear a wig. Wigging is only fun when it's voluntary.

Nothing super out of the ordinary happened when it became October, and I think I was a little surprised by that. I expect the apocalypse even more ardently when November spins up. It's the changing, the dying, the drying up, the falling off. It's the grey of cloudy sunshine and the chill of dusk. That whole "I'd be safe and warm if I was in L.A." bit isn't entirely true, you know. It gets cold here, too. Things die here, too. People here dream of being elsewhere, too. I know I do.

*Ironically, this comes from a commercial for diabetic testing supplies, but you get the gist.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 2:18 AM | Back to Monoblog


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Full of Wist

Well, that's not what that means, actually. "Full of wist" is not a synonym for "wistful." I'm just being obtuse. "Wistful" is the word of the day, and I wanted to not be a total joiner.

I get wistful all the time. More often than even you would suspect given all the evidence already supporting my claim. But it's not always paralyzing. Sometimes, it's even nice. Sometimes, I miss it when I haven't had a bout of it in a while. Sometimes, I forget that millions of other people get through a day without sighing heavily or looking backwards. They watch the t.v. shows they've been looking forward to. They discuss dinner options. They revel in a good night's sleep. They don't plague themselves with the fear that they will never be whole. They don't weigh themselves down with the anxiety that nothing gets better or that life doesn't have some implicit joy guarantee. They don't compare themselves to anyone. They don't worry. Who are these blissful millions? Robots? Did they get some lucky piece of brain removed when they were born? Do they believe in something? Or something? Just talking about them is making me angry and resentful.

Anyway, don't get the wrong idea. I have a grand time, too. Much of the time, I do. Honest.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 12:59 AM | Back to Monoblog


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