Nov 29, 2004

Dickensian Disappointment

I don't know why, but I watched a bit of NBC's A Christmas Carol tonight. The one with Kelsey Grammer and Jason Alexander and a bunch of Alan Menken songs in it. I was instant messaging with my friend Kevin (who asked to be mentioned), and I said, "God, musical theater is so gay. I love being in musicals. But it's so super duper gay. I just switched over to the NBC production of A Christmas Carol with Kelsey Grammer and Jason Alexander singing their gay faces off." And apparently that made him laugh out loud. Which is very satisfying to me.

Anyway, the show itself was irritatingly bad. At least to me. Barfworthy. Unwatchable in places. Just stringing together everyone in show business who has ever made jazz hands and dressing them up in 19th-century clothes and having them don crap British dialects and sing awful, awful songs. Which brings me to an interesting realization I just had: Alan Menken writes awful, awful songs. Maybe they don't seem awful when they are being sung by drawings, but when you see real people singing them, you realize that they are garbage. And maybe it's also that the songs in this production sound like iffy repurposings of the songs from Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid only with less calypso and less Angela Lansbury.

Plus, I despise Jennifer Love Hewitt. And I despise her most of all when she's singing. So you can imagine how well I liked her in this abominable show. And, yes, that deserves its own paragraph.

I don't think the people in the show were totally untalented or even such bad singers, but the show itself just doesn't deserve to have been made, and I'm disappointed in how often I leave my t.v. feeling that way. Also, I have seen (and own on laserdisc) nearly every version of A Christmas Carol that has ever been made, including several musical theater versions that I have even performed in (one that I will be playing violin for in a matter of weeks). And the story is dear to me. And I hate to see it crapped on. I went to see Scrooged at the cineplex. I was scared by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in the version with George C. Scott in it. Don't you see what an authority I am? So trust me when I tell you that you are fortunate to have not watched this program, because I am fairly certain that you didn't. Unless you were tied up in a chair with the t.v. on and no ability to change the channel with your mind.

On another note, the "Bannon Custody Case" episode of Harvey Birdman was on tonight. It's categorically hilarious. I watched it at Comic-Con a few years ago at the Cartoon Network panel (before there was an Adult Swim panel, I think, or perhaps at the first Adult Swim panel that was called an Adult Swim panel), and the audience got to vote on which of these new shows they would most like to see. It's where I first saw Aqua Teen Hunger Force, too. And Sealab. And as I recall, no one really liked Aqua Teen. And the creators looked visibly annoyed by that. But look at where they are today. See? It all works out.

Lastly, this ad for Jessica Simpson's Christmas album makes me want to puke. Right into Jessica Simpson's giant singing mouth. That ought to shut her up. People who tell me she is pretty have not yet realized that she is a female version of Richard Marx. And people who tell me she's talented are looking to have their faces punched.

Good night.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 3:41 AM | Back to Monoblog


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Notepad Cleansing

Still in the spirit of catching up, I've reviewed some of the things I wrote down with the intention of expounding. In some cases, I've even forgotten what they mean. Or whether I already wrote about them. And I wonder if anyone would be interested to read the things I never said about Coachella. Or Comic-Con. Or any number of other things. I get easily overwhelmed these days. I can only write about something that happened if only one thing happened. I can only write about what I think if I'm only thinking one thing. In all other cases, I start shuffling things around and wanting to revisit and edit and rearrange. And then I never write anything at all. And time passes. And it becomes all the more apparent that the world is not being changed, so why bother? But of course I continue to bother. With self-important hopes that writing is good and that telling is worthwhile and that anyone is reading with more than one eye open and that anyone is listening with any amount of eagerness. Not to disparage people who are forced to wear an eye patch. Reading with one eye is nothing to be ashamed of. But it's really bad for you if you intend to use both eyes simultaneously at some point in the future. Also bad for you? Visine. I know it's weird. It seems like it would be good for you because it's sold in drugstores in the aisle where helpful products are lined up with their labels all facing out, but it's actually really bad. You can get callouses on your eyeballs. Isn't that nuts? I use Visine constantly. I also slouch and eat a lot of red meat and fail to empty the lint trap in the dryer on every usage. So you can see I'm no role model. Don't follow me off a cliff, kids. I may not actually know where I'm going.

I've been trying to sort through the enormous inventory of clothing I have amassed. I have nowhere near enough storage room for all of it. And I'm finally displacing my nostalgic attachment to many, many items I will never, never wear. I can still pick up some skirt or sweater and go, "Oh. I remember when I wore this that one time." And I can imagine a time in the future when I may regret having discarded that skirt or sweater because of a neurotic desire to look at it again and go, "Oh. I remember when I wore this that one time." But I can also imagine a time in the future when I might like to move. Or when I might like to offer someone a place to hang a coat. Or when I might want to actually be able to step into my walk-in closet. So, I toil. And there is a sidebar benefit to culling through the piles and bags and boxes and heaps. I may never have to buy a pair of socks again. See, it is often my practice -- when I can't find a matching pair or a pair that is matchingly clean-looking or a pair that is soft and brand new -- to just go buy a whole bunch of new ones. And even though some of my older socks -- though hardly unwearable by homeless standards -- will never ever see the inside of my sneakers again, I have really never bothered to throw any of them away. Sometimes this comes in handy. One of my ex-boyfriends was trying to cover his wrists when he was dressed in a Scooby Doo costume that wasn't long enough for him, and I found a pair of Calvin Klein socks in a suitable yellow/brown hue, and we cut the feet off and made makeshift sleeve extensions out of them. If I only had a few pairs of socks, I could certainly never have spared that pair. So, you see, there is reinforcing circumstance to promote my packrat behavior. But at the risk of failing to complete a future costume, I'm getting rid of a lot of socks. And good riddance. At the same time, I have found an unbelievable number of perfectly good and often new pairs that I can now stuff into a drawer and not wear for years to come. It's like sock Christmas. Maybe I'll wrap some of them for fun. I'm also getting rid of a lot of things that still have pricetags on them. This is embarrassing. And part of why I will probably never own a house that I paid for with my own money. I am careless when it comes to shopping. And I could probably wear something different -- something entirely different -- every day for a year. Maybe two. Of course, some days would be weird, because I'd have to be wearing a ball gown or a Star Trek uniform, but you wouldn't be able to say you'd ever seen it before. If you happen to see me wearing anything you've ever seen me wear before, you should probably be disappointed. In practice, I have numerous pieces of clothing I count among my favorites, and they get much more frequent airplay than the others. But I don't see any of you frequently enough that I think you would notice, and I'm down-to-earth enough to know that you don't care.

I'm reorganizing my office, too. It's always on the verge of being declared an avalanche zone. I'm tired of that. I'm tired of having to move 200 CDs out of the way before I can get to the copier. I'm tired of not being able to open my filing cabinet drawers, even if they are only filled with old bags of Easter candy and back issues of the International Male catalog. I'm tired of wondering what the wheel of my chair is always caught on. I'm tired of hearing my friend Julie talk about feng shui and feeling embarrassed by it. I'm tired of talking about all the art I've been meaning to frame and the wall shelves I've been meaning to install. This way, when I decide that I'm also tired of not having finished scanning that stack of Lomos on my desk, I can actually raise the lid of the scanner without displacing a stack of CD-Rs containing my old email files from the year 2000 and software installers that are of no discernible value in this age and operating system. When I think of all the things that bar me from being a dynamo of productivity, I want to declare war on them. And when I am declaring war in my imagination, I'm dressed like a Mongol but cleaner.

I drove home from San Diego this afternoon after having a nice leftover Thanksgiving lunch with my mom. My dad was already napping, the dear. It was cold and blue-skied this afternoon. And it felt good to want pockets for my hands. Less good to not actually be wearing pockets. But I survived. It was a long and action-packed weekend, and I felt the relief of getting home. I felt it in my very bones.

I got a little sentimental a few times. And it didn't kill me.

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


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     Nov 27, 2004

coelacanth



I'm wearing fishnet stockings with tube socks. My mom eyed my legwear and said, "Fishnets? Are they back in again?" I scoffed. As if fishnets have ever not been in. If there's one thing that can be said about fashion, it likes women to wear things that may someday help them catch a meal. Just the way Jesus did it. This is a perennial truth.

I buy a lot of clothes and stuff at Anthropologie. If you're familiar with that store, then you know that this means I really don't like money at all and am frequently looking for preposterous ways to throw it away.

Beulah and I agree that that fake Tiny House show that's in the Geico commercial would actually be a really great show to watch. I'm no fan of reality television. No, sirree. But I might enjoy watching that couple live a year in that house. For kicks.

So, maybe it's obvious that I'm stalling, but I'm afraid of getting started on what may turn out to either be a heap of crap or a very longwinded escapade, neither with a shred of brilliance. But I suppose there's only one way to find out. Fasten your safety belt. It's not going to be a bumpy ride or anything, but I like saying things that imply I can control you.

Last weekend, I came down to San Diego to get my car fixed and to sing in church. My mom has been acting as my manager since she and my dad began attending a new church in their new neighborhood. She has been calling periodically and trying to get me to schedule a date and sing. It has taken months. I even picked a date in October, but they had scheduled someone else. I was beginning to feel like one of the members of Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Just not Crosby. One of the other guys. That no one knows. I felt like Stills and/or Nash trying to book a gig at a hole in the wall as a favor to a friend and getting bumped because Dan Fogelberg came to town. When my mom finally booked me, she called to say the pastor was giving me ten minutes to do whatever I wanted. I could sing two songs. Maybe lead the congregation in something, my mom suggested. I don't do this, just so you know. I'm not some traveling troubadour. What was she expecting? That I would tote in my guitar and teach them all that "Doe a Deer" song? Not happening. I don't even have a guitar.

On Friday, my car got a new radiator, after which Sarah and I went down to the Gaslamp to watch the new Bridget Jones movie, which was largely a disappointment to me. If it wasn't for Colin Firth (and Hugh Grant to a lesser degree), I can't imagine it would have been watchable. If it's possible for Renee Zellweger to look any uglier, it might have to involve surgery and a series of blows to the face with a two by four. The kind with a few rusty nails in the end of it. It was actually painful to watch her. And not at all believable that there would be men battling for her affection. Unless those men like rosacea and girls who walk like their joints have been splinted. I once knew a girl in grade school who always walked like that. Kind of on her tippy toes all the time and with knees that looked like they didn't bend. And I can assure you, no one liked her. I think she also had a weird tuft of blonde hair under her chin, but that's neither here nor there.

After the movie, we strolled a few blocks, reaffirming for me that I despise the scene down there. The Gaslamp on a Friday night is such a drab display of ick. It's not as flip-flopped and t-shirted as Pacific Beach. But it's the same gross clientele with the same natty pick-up lines and the same bullshit posturing. I detest it.



I wonder if the psychic whose sign this is had any foreknowledge of how much the misspelling of the word "psychic" might depress business.

We almost went to Airport, but I insist that there is nothing particularly cool about going to a club where everyone inside is a friend of the door staff. Not only do I revile the currency of bouncer worship, but I can't imagine that anyone who is willing to be friendly with these power-mad, near-minimum wage-earners and their orthopedic shoes and flashlights and earpieces and bad haircuts is someone I want to be standing next to when I'm pouring booze down my throat. I maintain a modicum of standards where I can.

We went instead to Nunu's, my reliable home base. There was a line out front, so we went to the back and were let in by the door guy who regarded us as regulars. We were greeted with aplomb and almost immediately invited by my bartender friend Jeff to a party after closing. Two French guys -- both chefs -- were annoyingly all over us. I said something about us being gourmands, and one of them started running his hands down my midsection from behind and saying, "I don't think so." I assume that was him saying that I'm not fat enough to be a food-lover, so maybe that was compliment enough for me to tolerate the intrusion. My standards here might be questionable.

Sarah and I did go to the party. It was someone's birthday. I don't remember whose. We met a number of nice people, drank a number of stiff drinks, entered into a few minor contests, and left in time for me to just barely make it to bed before sunrise.

The following night, I had plans to go out with Krissy and Dorian and Pam. Our friend Becky works at Club Rio, so we stopped by there early enough to be embarrassed by the male strippers doing their thing. We played a little shoddy pool and then took Becky with us to Nunu's, where we didn't stay long enough for my taste. Then we went back to Dorian and Krissy's place and ate late-night Mexican and played strip poker until it was late enough for me to be concerned about my singing obligation. Not to mention the fact that I was playing strip poker only hours before I was going to be sitting in church having to think about the fact that I was playing strip poker only a few hours ago. Which is in fact what I was thinking about, when I was sitting in church, waiting for it to be time for me to sing.

I sang.

Apparently there wasn't a dry eye in the house. Even my sister Sarah, who was good enough to drive up to watch me, said she was welling up a wee bit. I'm pleased that people liked my singing, but this sort of thing always makes me feel guilty and hypocritical. Because once I finished singing, I sat in the pew and wrote jokes for the rest of the service. And that's the cruel truth. And one of them was pretty good. And one of them was about the pastor.

Later that day, I found a John Deere tractor just sitting there, waiting to have its photo taken with me. And you know how I am about things like that.



Monday night, Martín and I went to the Paul F. Tompkins Show, the show's namesake having returned from England at last. We had a fine time. Laughed it up good. Ordered the halibut, both of us, which is the only new thing on the Largo menu these days. But they served carrots instead of peas, and that's a fair cop. I hate cooked carrots. And I adore peas. And it's hard enough working up the juice to look forward to something you've ordered at Largo, only to have your hopes dashed by substandard vegetable replacements. Cooked carrots. Plegh. It's almost a fruit. Not at all pleasing. The show, by contrast, was very pleasing, ending in a rendition of How Soon Is Now? with the Watkins Family adding violins where once there were synthesizers. I've been planning to cover Every Day Is Like Sunday with Josh for some time now. And I was going to replace synths with violin, too. But now I just feel like a copycat.

We had a few drinks at The Dime after the show with our friend Tom and his friend Marcia (whose name might be spelled "Marsha" -- I've not yet seen it written). And then I went home, feeling a smidge badly for keeping Martín out so late. But not really. Corrupting my friends is a favorite pastime of mine.

Tuesday night, I had dinner at A.O.C. with my mathematician friend Paul. I will gladly go again. And I will order the brussels sprouts. Because they were magnificent. I adore brussels sprouts. And I don't care how much of your nose you wish to wrinkle when I say it. They are grand. And they make me feel like a giant. Eating entire heads of cabbage like popcorn. It's fun. After I eat them, I go and make my magic harp sing for me. She's a bitch and will betray me at the drop of a hat, but the songs are pretty for now. And I believe in living in the moment.

That's not actually true. I don't believe in living in the moment at all. For the record. I've noticed that I tend to not do it almost as a rule. But that's a matter for another entry. One with many, many commas in it. And time set aside for a potty break. Perhaps in the form of a musical interlude.

Once I got home, I picked up Audrey and took her with me to Steve and Chris's place to help them with some Mac issues. If that was at all ambiguous, I meant that Audrey came with me so that I could provide the computer help. Audrey doesn't exactly perform Mac troubleshooting. She's remarkable, but she's not magical. And, for the record, that's me showing up in Studio City after midnight to provide IT assistance. I can't imagine anything less sexy. And then Audrey peed on the carpet.

Wednesday, after sending out my annual Thanksgiving email message, I drove down to San Diego through a number of hours of what might have been horrific traffic, but I had my iPod playing and my dog in my lap, and I was happy as a clam. And come to that, I love the phrase "happy as a clam." I don't know why. Maybe it's the notion that bivalves know something the rest of us don't. So, yeah. I was fine with the delays, but a little tired when I got to town. I went to Jivewire at the Casbah with Yen and Beulah and Jantzen, and we drank a lot and danced a little. I was finally able to spend a few moments of face time with the lovely Kate and her handsome companions. I can never stop saying how pretty she is. She's just the prettiest pretty pretty thing there is. And she's smart and stylish and fun. I totally want to kidnap her and take her with me everywhere, just so I can show her to people and say, "Look at my pretty friend. Isn't she just super pretty?"

Then it was Thanksgiving. Sarah invited her friends Linda and Jim over to spend the holiday with our family. I brought down several bottles of a merlot I really like, and I kept offering it to everyone but found no takers. I was beginning to wonder if everyone had become recent Jehovah's Witnesses and if I was making a jerk of myself trying to force my booze on them. I still don't know what the story was there. But I drank nearly the whole bottle myself. Dad helped a bit. He's a sport. And Justin may have had a splash, too. But mostly it was me. And nary a buzz to show for it.

Dinner was extravagant, as usual. My mother is some kind of kitchen sorceress. You can't believe how good everything she makes is. But it is. And why fight it. Everyone ate to busting. Then Beulah told a series of hilarious stories. Then we all watched (and intermittently dozed in front of) Elf. That was enough nap for me. After the movie, I went and picked up Yen and brought her to Nunu's for what is becoming a traditional holiday nightcap. We ran into friends we knew, met people we didn't know, and drank many drinks which we did not have to pay for. When I was leaving the house, my mother was disapproving. "You go out every night. It's not normal." I didn't argue. First of all, I don't go out every night. And secondly, I'm not especially interested in being normal. Particularly if it means going to bed at a reasonable hour. That's just not for me.

Tonight, I went out and met one of my former bandmates, again at Nunu's, somehow the default locale for all my liquored-up chit chat. We had not seen or spoken to each other in well over a year. And it was nice to not be bothered by any of that nonsense anymore. A few hours into it, Krissy came and joined us, and we stayed for a bit, until it was time to get Krissy something in a food way. My outfit, which was not fancy or anything, provoked approving comment from a bartender or two. I don't know why that makes a difference, but it absolutely does. Without fail.

When I was driving home a short while ago, the fog sat above the Del Mar valley like a translucent ribbon, sheer enough to give away the locations of the McDonald's and the supermarket. I had my iPod on shuffle, and I kept hearing songs I've never heard and wondering if I would remember them if I ever heard them again. Nostalgia is great. Repetition is powerful. But there is something to be said for feeling something for the very first time ever and having nothing else at all to connect it to. There is something nice about getting a chance to write a proper history. One that isn't bogged down with footnotes and a backstory that takes up more space on the page than the story itself. This was my Thanksgiving. It wasn't particularly eventful or remarkable. It wasn't somehow an offshoot of a previous experience. It wasn't a reminder of last year's Thanksgiving. Or a retelling of the one the year before that. Or an echo of the one the year before that. It was just a day I spent with friends and family. And it probably won't have nearly as much staying power as some of the previous ones have had. Next year won't likely transport me back to this one in a way that will catch in my throat. I'll remember it, sure. I remember nearly everything. But I won't be crippled by the memory. Nor will I likely be able to get high on the fumes of it for years to come. And perhaps that's as it should be.

So, there you have it. I don't generally prefer to do my catching up in bulk like this. Surely I've missed something. Surely I've skipped over an opportunity to tie things up with a clever quote. Surely I could have held your attention better by saying these things in smaller spurts. I seem to have even forgotten to bother telling you why this entry is called coelacanth. But that's the way it goes. You can't eat a sugar cookie without losing a few crumbs. Even if you have a gigantic mouth. Just try it.

That's it for me. For now.

Mary Forrest, an incurable romantic whose immune system is kicking in

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posted by Mary Forrest at 5:22 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Nov 25, 2004

That Familiar Bird Stink

Ho ho ho! It's Thanksgiving! You Only Live Twice is playing on Spike TV. The house smells of turkey and pies and cooked things. My father is wearing a nature-colored sweater. So is my dog.

I realize I have some catching up to do. Reports I owe. Stories I've not yet told. And they just keep mounting, so I intend to get to it. I've been taking notes. Never fear. And the pictures are forthcoming, too. If you care about that.

Before I go immerse myself in the familial orgy of pretending we are as tightly-knit as a circus troupe, I just wanted to tear the package open a little at the corner. You know. Begin the practice of peeking. Soon, the entire box will be denuded and you will see that it is just a box. No matter the shape of what's inside, a box makes for easier wrapping and stacking.

Here's to decisive creases! I'll be chattering in your face soon enough.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 10:59 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Nov 22, 2004

Audrey-D2 Gets Her Fifteen Minutes

My dog's picture is in the running for Neighborhoodie of the Week. Vote for her, or those two girls with their underwear showing will receive a much undeserved boost to their collective self-esteem. Audrey's picture is the one in the middle. Easy to find. It's the only one of a dog.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 1:34 PM | Back to Monoblog


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     Nov 20, 2004

Low-Flying Craft

This time, I'm just getting in. And I feel just grand about it. I like closing the place. I like after-parties. I like making friends. I like making drinks from what's there. Even better, I like having the makeshift drink made for me. And I like getting home when the sun is coming up. If only for nostalgic reasons.

posted by Mary Forrest at 6:38 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Nov 19, 2004

Worm-getting

In terms of journal entries -- the rote kind -- I went to see Brendon Small's showcase on Wednesday and enjoyed the bejeezus out of that. And last night, I went to Largo to see more comedy before packing up my stuff and trundling Audrey and myself down to San Diego. I arrived a little after 3 A.M. and had to get up to bring my car in when the place opened, so I've had about forty-five minutes of sleep. In case you were wondering. This is one of the few times when an early morning entry of mine isn't the result of still being up. It's a new day. And I predict it will be a bleary-eyed one.

I hadn't intended to come down here so early. I have performance obligations over the weekend, but I was going to cut it much closer. My car had other ideas, though. And rather than risk having it blow up on me while I'm idling on Olympic Boulevard, I decided to be reactive in a way that was slightly closer to being proactive. Good for me. That proves that I am both a grown-up and that I have a certain amount of available credit on my credit card.

I was hoping that by starting to write, I would maybe stumble onto a thread that would be worth writing about, but I'm coming up bone dry here. I'm tempted to go digging through my IM logs and crib from recent conversations. And that would be like panning for gold in my bathtub. (Note to any eager prospectors: There is no gold in my bathtub. By making this analogy, I am trying to convey that there isn't much of value in my IM logs. I am not trying to get you to come over to my house with your sluice.)

I was shopping in Westwood the other day, and I bought a number of things that caused the store security alert to sound. After trying to correct the problem three times, the sales clerk and the manager had to take all of my purchases back to the register bay and de-thieverize them. When the manager returned contritely, he asked me if these were for a studio. I guess I was buying enough of whatever I bought that it looked abnormal, and he was wondering if I was shopping for a photo shoot, and maybe that was cool to him, so he wanted to know what awesome person I might be. I said no and ended up sort of babbling through a bunch of nonsense about gifts and not being able to get certain things in San Diego, and I could see that he had long since lost interest. I'm going to try and make it my policy, when asked a simple question to which the answer is no, to just say, "No," and smile. I'm sure this will assist in my coming off as mysterious and perhaps even elite -- instead of inferior and apologetic. I realized it's not a very good story. I'm just making a note of this so that I will remember not to be such a moron all the time.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 7:06 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Nov 16, 2004

Rock! Rock! Rock!

Buy the new Mojo. The December issue. The one with Velvet Revolver on the cover. And not just because you have a thing for Scott Weiland. That would be you pretending to be me. Buy it because the complimentary CD on this month's issue is a super duper old school rock and roll collection that will make you want to dance dance dance. Honest and truly. I'm listening to Little Richard right now, and it makes me want to shake my can. And find some greaser to go get a tattoo with.

You could also just watch American Graffiti or something. But where's the fun in that? Most of those guys are bald now. It's depressing.

posted by Mary Forrest at 6:46 PM | Back to Monoblog


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so many scorpios

Did everyone's parents really get it on on Valentine's Day? Is everyone really that cliche? (If you were born in November, but prematurely, please accept my apologies for implying that your parents live in a greeting card world.) I only ask because I have noticed a palpable glut of scorpios in my social circle. More October and November birthdays than any other month. There's a scary concentration of August birthdays in my life, too, but the Novembers have pulled ahead like Africa in a foot race. And despite their reputation as the most hated sign in the zodiac, some of my very closest friends are among their ranks. So, I guess it's all right. I don't mind that everyone was born in November. I was just curious about it. My science mind gets bored sometimes. It tries to find things to figure out. Last week, that led to trying to remember the combination to my neon green padlock. Today, it's this.

Well, happy birthday, scorpio. You don't look a day older than you want to.

posted by Mary Forrest at 1:59 PM | Back to Monoblog


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Nobody knows the wreck of the soul the way you do.

I'm all for quiet days and for nights in. Especially in this latest speck of life-time. It's been a murderous few days of work stress and time pressures and still making time to be fond and out there and hopefully stringing together the sentences in a less than ordinary way. But it feels as if it has been more than a few days. I've been in the aging chamber. For now, the pressures have eased. My bid has been submitted, and I'm in a state of benignly optimistic relief. Especially because my client did not yell at me for getting it in so late.

I worked last night until it was today. Some time well after midnight, I could be found driving to Koreatown to deliver a DVD of images to Josh. I had Audrey on my lap, and every 7-11 I passed looked like Mecca to me. When I came home, I took Audrey for our usual spin around the block, and there was a scary, loud fellow yelling obscenities, mad at the world, as he mopped off his windshield with a t-shirt and made ready to drive away. He was excitable enough that I got my keys out and had my cell phone at the ready. Maybe my mind was dulled by overuse, but I began having morbid fantasies of my assault and ensuing death. It never came to pass, but it was good in terms of waking me up and getting my blood going so I could go back home and work the rest of the night. Which I did.

Today, I worked all day. From the moment I tumbled out of bed. I had a catalog deadline to meet and a bid to submit, and that amounts to a lot of PDF-making. I make so many of them these days. And yet I can recall a time when there was no such thing. Just as I can recall a time when there had never yet been a psychotic postal worker showing up to blow away his supervisor at the depot, so the phrase "going postal" made no sense at all. And as if I wasn't already feeling a bit on the old side, I went to Amazon.com with the intention of shopping for an Xbox so I can play Halo 2 with Steve and Chris, and my page was headed by a promo for the Phillips Heart Start Home Defibrillator. I'm totally putting that on my wish list. Not the Xbox. I'll buy that myself, because you can't be counted on to get me what I want on my schedule. But the person who buys me my own defibrillator will go down in history as a total freak. And one with $1500 to spare apparently. Good for you, future freak. You must have managed your spending properly. My mom would really like you and tell me to watch you carefully so I might learn something.

They died in the drink.

The other night, the ants were out again. I left a glass of water on my bedside table, and they had found their way into it. And drowned there. I did not pity them. I went and got my can of Raid and made sure to take care of as many of them as I could see. When the climate changes or when the exterminator visits or in certain other non-scientific scenarios, they come into my bedroom, and I wake up feeling one or two crawling on my arm or on my face, and it gives me the willies. My grandmother died of a stroke when I was just a child, and when the tale was retold to me, I remember my mom saying that, before she died, her mother was complaining that she felt as if there were ants crawling on her forehead. That has stuck with me.

And maybe because of the proximity of my bed to the windows in my bedroom, I always seem to find out I have ants by finding them on me, and I hate that. I have been thinking of redecorating. For some time now. Maybe I will face my bed the other way. The Chinese believe it's bad luck to have the foot of your bed facing the door anyway. Apparently, Death can come in at night and snatch you away by your feet. Apparently, Death isn't one for snatching people away by the head, arms, or shoulders.

Ironically, as much as I knit my hands together and laugh with glee when I exterminate entire races of ants, please, HBO, please please PLEASE stop showing documentaries and investigative reports about dogs being treated cruelly or disposed of or abandoned. I simply cannot bear it. My little sister and I cried our eyes out when we watched Shelter Dogs. And now, there are promos for an episode of Real Sports about what happens to greyhounds after they are done with their racing careers. And I know better than to watch it, if I want to keep my mascara intact. Horrible horrible. My little Audrey, curled up on my lap right now, came from a rescue, and -- although she has her share of behavioral problems -- I can't bear to think of what would have happened to her if she hadn't found a home. With me or elsewhere. She's my sweet little angel. You couldn't help but love her. Even though she will try to bite your face off when she first meets you. And every time she sees you after that. No matter how many treats you give her. Her tiny little skull is so smooth and round, you just want to bite it in two.

How could you believe me when I said I love you when you know I've been a liar all my life?

Jane Powell sings so pretty. I'm watching her in Holiday in Mexico, and I'm remembering that great number she did with Fred Astaire in Royal Family. And thinking of Fred Astaire makes me think of The Barkleys of Broadway and that splendid dress Ginger Rogers wears -- the one I once said I would like my wedding dress to emulate. And watching That's Entertainment! on television with my dad and having him play docent to the golden age of cinema. Movies were such an offshoot of Vaudeville back then. Jose Iturbi got to be in all those movies just because he was a piano virtuoso. Good old Vaudeville. I miss movies with big musical numbers in the middle of them. I miss men in funny pants. I miss slapstick.

But I also wish I could live in deep space. On a space station. Where the light was always sort of blue and the buildings always sounded as if they were breathing. I'm always in the wrong time. Now. Then. Yet to come. I'm the girl on the train platform and you're the boy on the opposite side of the tracks. And we run down the stairs to meet each other and end up on opposite platforms again, laughing like fools. But -- unlike in Cousins and whatever other list of movies that happens in -- we never end up on the same side. You give up and get on the train going one way, and I get on the train going the other. And we both find newspapers that someone is finished reading, and we get lost in current events and department store extravaganzas. And before we know it, none of it ever happened. Do you ever get that feeling?

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posted by Mary Forrest at 1:25 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Nov 14, 2004

Good for Nothing



Warning: There are a lot of commas in this post.

I've been working a lot. And I'm very nervous about how things are going to turn out. In a lot of ways. But that's no way to be.

Despite everything, there is a color that is always in my head and in my pictures and in my eyes. There is a sort of out-of-controlness about it all. And the more I become aware of how much that distresses and unsettles me, the more apparent it becomes that you can't just turn those things off and on. I don't know if it's as lonely as it looks. Or as lovely. I don't know if it makes people jealous or anxious or proud. I don't know what it is or what it does. I don't even know what I'm talking about. I just know that sometimes, I feel exactly the way I look to the world. And sometimes I don't. And I love to watch French movies.



I saw Julie an unprecedented twice this past week. Tuesday night, we had dinner at Beacon. And Friday night, we went to the Whiskey Bar and drank a lot and spent too much of our time talking to people other than each other, but we made up for lost time by driving through Lucy's and eating our guilty late night fare at my dining table and in front of my cameras. On the way home, I demanded that we stop and take pictures of the Trashy Lingerie windows. I stop there as often as I remember to, which is not as often as I ever plan to. One of these days, when I get around to uploading the stacks and stacks of pending Lomos I have, you'll see if that makes sense or is true at all. (It is.)



Saturday night -- after nearly no sleep the night before and working the whole day with Josh -- despite the onset of a continuing and debilitating exhaustion, I got dressed, got going, got parked, got change for the meter, and got to see my genius friend Anya at the Cat Club. As I was leaving, a burly fellow outside the Whisky a Go Go stopped me with the following announcement: "Ma'am, we have live bands inside. Ten dollars." I tried not to laugh, but I may have spit a little before saying, "Really?" I didn't mean to sound bitchy, but who cares. I crossed the street, got back in my car, noticed that a number of calls were not being returned, made my way towards Hollywood, found parking (for free), drank a room temperature Red Bull I found in my car's backseat, then headed to the Burgundy Room, where I did not find what I was looking for, and then crossed the street. On my way from the car, a homeless-looking guy told me I looked wonderful, and I was impressed at his enunciation, given his lack of a full set of teeth. Crossing Cahuenga, I was intoxicated by the smell given off by those vile hot dog/bacon/onion carts that are never outside when I'm alone and won't be judged for buying up their entire inventory. I continued on my way. I looked at the open sign outside Huston's and felt sadly sure that it wouldn't still be lit by the time I was interested in it. The scary door guy at the Burgundy Room always seems to have had a nearly-nauseatingly perfumed plate of Huston's barbecue in his hands each time I have begged admittance. Enough so that when I see him making his way through the bar, placing his large and sinewy hands on the shoulders of the rest of the clientele, I wrinkle my nose and think, "His hands probably have barbecue sauce on them. And knowing how people eat barbecue, they probably also have spit all over them from having had the recent barbecue sauce licked clean." It only takes a moment for a thought like this to cross my brain. It surprises even me. [I don't have a problem with spit. I mean, I don't want it landing on me randomly and from unidentified sources, but I'm okay with spit. Despite the fact that Parris Harris (true), when we were in the fourth grade together and paired up for square dancing, used to lick his palms before we began and grin at me with sinister and willful glee.] Later in the night, I glanced over at the darkened interior of Huston's and experienced the unrewarding reward of being right about my own impending disappointment.



I stood outside the Beauty Bar, talking on the phone with Chris and essentially telling him how much I don't really like the Beauty Bar. I don't think the door staff overheard me, but I felt loftily better than them for my brashness. They let me in without any scuffle. And I met Mig and Farrah and their numerous friends. I took a lot of pictures of them. Well, us, because obviously I was in most of the pictures, but you don't have to be obnoxious about it. So I like to take pictures -- who does it hurt? Farrah and I were dressed in similar stripes by sheer happenstance. We will call ourselves Jailbait from now on.



Farrah and I were delighted to see a photo booth, but when we huddled into it, we found that it was not plugged in. And despite the fact that unstoppable Farrah found and applied the plug, it never seemed to want to take our picture. So I took pictures on my own. Many, many pictures.

All in all, when the night was over, I liked this photo of Farrah best. She is like a porcelain-skinned, more-exoticized Dorothy Lamour. And I think that really rears its head in this photograph.



I made my way through the crowd a couple of times for various reasons. And I laughed at the unifying factor of Journey's Don't Stop Believing hitting the turntable. Do these people really like this song? Did they have a poster of Steve Perry on their locker in junior high like that one tough girl in my school. I think her name was Nola. She had written "fox" on the poster, and I crossed it out and wrote something like "gross" or "gay" instead, and I felt pretty proud and strong, until she started asking us all who had done it and threatening that someone's ass was going to get kicked. I looked her squarely in the eyes and said I didn't know who had done it. And then I took a shame-filled coward's shower, washing my hair with Finesse shampoo. But seriously, I'm guilty of this myself, but I am amused by the thrill that runs through a crowd when an old, familar song comes on. It doesn't have to be something you liked. In fact, it's often better if it's something you didn't like. But when you hear those first few recognizable chords, you start moving to the beat and widening your eyes and singing along like a fool. And you can't possibly feel like a fool, because everyone else is doing it, too. And it's just the law of averages that not EVERYONE can be the town idiot. Right?

We had a last hurrah at the Burgundy Room, where the singalong trend continued. Joan Jett has a way of bringing out the singer in all of us.

I really was tempted to have one of those hot dogs. That's what it's like at the end of the night. Farrah made it her task to save me from myself. And I guess I'm grateful. We headed over to the 101 Coffee Shop, where we were treated like homeless people, made to wait at a table for a half hour, after which we were told that the kitchen was closed. I have never seen such a thing. I wanted to punch someone. Or bend a spoon and leave it on the table for them to find. Ha.

So, after all the parking challenges of that neighborhood, Farrah suggested Swingers instead, and we raced their four o'clock closing time to get our burgers and onion rings and ranch dressing and whatever else. By that point, our party of eight had dwindled to just Farrah, Mig, Chris, and me, but we all got what we ordered, and I made it home to relieve my dog and congratulate her on her good girlness. I didn't find the place where she peed on my carpet until this morning.

And now, with deadlines pressing in on me like the walls of the garbage compactor on the Death Star, I'm looking for something with leverage. My addled brain is saying, "Cheeseburger? No, no, no. That's wrong." At least I'm not so far gone that I can't tell when I'm just being a retard.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 7:26 PM | Back to Monoblog


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     Nov 11, 2004

Girls on Film

Jessy and I went to Hollywood last night to be in a (sexy little) photo shoot for our friend Nico and his new project. The fabulous Apollo Starr was behind the camera, and we were at his ultra awesome studio. I wore a trampy black outfit and took plenty of my own pictures while we weren't shooting. We drank vodka tonics out of plastic cups and I showed the boys how to give a proper spanking. And I sat on a bench that wasn't bolted down, and it fell over, and I looked like a complete idiot. We met Perry and Amber and Kelsey, and I debated whether I should follow them to Star Shoes after we were done, but I've got work things to attend to. I'm bidding on a big project that I would really like to land, and it's putting a lot of pressure on me. And tonight, I'm meeting with one of my mysterious benefactors to see about that career I've been wanting. And I've been writing a lot of things down, and I think it might actually amount to something. I have a few goals to see to. It always makes me feel like a jerk to think of how long I've been planning to do so many things. But I'm hoping some of that jerkness will abate if I ever actually get any of it done. I just feel like I'm talking to myself right now. Which is something I do more often than anyone would believe.

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


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     Nov 10, 2004

Do you watch and love The Venture Brothers?

If you do, then you are just as cool as me on at least one level.

posted by Mary Forrest at 3:24 AM | Back to Monoblog


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Setting the Stage for Public Service Announcements

I don't think serious products with serious messages should purchase advertising time on networks like Comedy Central and Spike TV. I was watching Comedy Central tonight (an episode of Crossballs -- the one about sexual harassment, which is further proof that Jerry Minor is the funniest man I have ever stood next to while he was wearing a cape while it was raining outside), and at the commercial break a spot began airing, featuring a man and a woman in a car on their way to a show. The woman (I'm assuming she was the wife) was cooing over a pair of tickets to something and saying how she couldn't believe he'd gotten such good seats. She was holding them up and grinning and carrying on, and the dude (I'm assuming he was the husband) was concurring, and then the woman looks up and sees lights and cries out and suddenly they've been in an accident. And he asks if she's okay, and she says she thinks so. And she asks if he's okay, and he says yes. Then she opens the car door, with a crinkly sound from the airbag and perhaps from the crumpled metal, and she approaches the driver of the other car, and they begin asking one another if they're okay, all with expressions on their faces as if they've just had an alien encounter. And, here's the thing: because I had just been watching a funny show, I was expecting satire. I was just in that frame of mind. So when the accident happened, I was expecting that the woman was going to lose her shit because the tickets had flown out the window. Or maybe, when she asked her husband if he was okay and it turned out that his legs had been telescoped by the steering column, she would shrug apologetically and get out of the car and hitch a ride to the show to make use of her wicked awesome tickets. And when the other driver got out of his car, I thought he was going to bitch them out. Maybe with a comical foreign accent. But then the voiceover began to play, and it turned out it was an Allstate commercial, giving viewers advice on how to handle a car accident, including tips on what to keep in the car in case you have to document a collision. All of this, of course, assuming you haven't lost all your fingers and are able to dial a cell phone, wind a disposable camera, and assemble a portable road hazard indicator. Maybe some of these functions can be performed with the flesh from your face. I don't know. The human spirit is indomitable. Anyway. I wasn't looking up at the clock, so I didn't know if it might be the top or bottom of the hour. Maybe this was the lead-in to an episode of Mad TV (in which case, I would be angry that I hadn't been able to change the channel fast enough). Maybe the Energizer bunny would begin making its percussive way across the screen any second now. It just didn't seem possible that this serious, perhaps even important message was sharing a viewing wall with a man with a robot vagina in his pants.

Something similar happened the other night when I was being introduced to Lost by Steve and Chris. We had been watching funny things and laughing a lot, and I was just in that mode where everything seemed stupid or ridiculous to me. And Lost is one of those shows with high melodrama in play anyway. So I kept expecting something wacky to happen, but it kept being serious and sort of scary and desperate. This is probably also why you shouldn't go watch a slapstick comedy just before attending a funeral or a baptism. No one appreciates a case of the giggles when Jesus is in the room.

My point is just that -- much as your sobering words about cancer or violence against women or healthcare or venereal disease need to be heard -- you should try and time it so that people hear those words after watching something neutral and lacking in irony, like a news magazine or Yes, Dear or something featuring Cedric the Entertainer. That way they won't feel gypped when they realize that there is no punchline to wait for.

On the other hand, if your product or service is amusing and whimsical and your message is clever and wit-laden, don't buy advertising time during a show about dog euthanasia or fetal alcohol syndrome. It's possible you'll be disappointed in the return on your investment.

This has been a morsel of mass-media marketing wisdom from Mary Forrest, professional former professional marketing professional.

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


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     Nov 8, 2004

Gratifaction



Musicals are risky. Sometimes the songs are good, but the singers aren't. Sometimes the singers are good, but the songs aren't. Sometimes none of it's good, but everyone in the world loves it anyway. Sometimes it's Andrew Lloyd Webber. I was watching the musical Tom Sawyer yesterday while I was getting dressed. I think it's the formermost case that applies.

After that, I took Martín to the Griddle Cafe for more stretching on of his birthday celebrating. I like to celebrate people's birthdays until they tire of hearing me wish them well. I like overdoing it. Last week, I took him to Disneyland. Our annual birthday tradition as of last year. It was the best possible way to spend the day after Election Day. I was grim and disillusioned, and I didn't want to even accidentally hear what the pundits had to say. There are no newspapers to worry about in Disneyland. At my most vitriolic, I took a picture in congratulations of the Republican victory.



That's about as partisan as I get.

I have been asked by a number of people why I haven't written anything about the election results yet. And I don't really have an answer. I had a lot to say on the listserv for my comedy group. And I've certainly waxed on in conversations with friends. But I've been reluctant to seal the capsule. I don't know if I really know what I think. And very little comes of announcing how I feel. It was a difficult day. I drove a lot, waited a lot, worked a lot, sighed a lot. I felt the world coming up around me as if I was sitting still on a spot that became the epicenter of a sink hole. I felt like I was in the shadows. And I ate McDonald's.

"I don't think I can enjoy candy. Not after what's happened in my life."

So it's been a spot of dismal on an otherwise shimmery terrain, I suppose. If I'm honest and fair about things. I have nothing to complain about. But there are plenty of things I'd like to fix. And there are plenty of things that still make me feel itchy or sad or vulnerable or stupid. As much as there are things that make me feel dopey or sheepish or sparkly or breathless. I got the variety pack this time around. It's always been my preference.

On the side of industry, I've finally sorted through photos that are owing. There are documents of my Halloween weekend, my day at the races, my inspection of Disneyland, and my Saturday. And there is a little story with me as a blossom of snow in it. I am welcoming winter. Everything dies. And the cold makes my cheeks pink. If you ride a roller coaster on a cold, windy day, it will make tears come to your eyes. No matter how happy you are.



"And to think I let you kiss the air next to my cheek."

My note-taking is fragmented. Dreams I've been having with people in them I don't actually know. Things I notice that make me ashamed. Meanness. I think about how easy it has always been, picking up where we left off. And then I notice how we have this habit of leaving off in the nastiest of places. I favor a change of venue. Affectionate messages. Affectionate and undeserved. Affectionate messages from all the people you don't deserve. And I waste my time passing judgment in the dark. In complete ignorance. I waste more of my time than anyone would ever believe.

I have a very short memory for good feelings. There's this greediness. As soon as the curtain falls on one act, I forget that it happened. I look for the next one to begin. I'm rushing toward it at all times. Having something to look forward to is my fuel. My only fuel. I have abandoned sleep and food and sustenance of all kinds. It's only anticipation that makes me go. And that's the sort of go that never gets you anywhere. It's all carrot-chasing. Despite my preference for hot dogs.

"Forgive me. I am new to sarcasm."

My dad's blood type changed in the middle of his life. One day he was one type. And he was giving blood all the time. And then one other day, he went to give blood to a friend who was having surgery, and they told him they couldn't use his blood because it wasn't the right type. Just like that. When he was in his 40s. He gives a supernatural and spiritual explanation for it. I don't have anything to counter that.

Cinema-style plates of spaghetti and meatballs look uncannily appealing to me. Even though I would never order such a plate from any actual restaurant. Maybe because of my certainty that I would only ever be disappointed. How could such a thing live up to my expectations? And frankly, I prefer the short varieties of pasta. Spaghetti swings around and splashes sauce on your clothing. And nothing makes you look like more of a fatso than spots of marinara sauce on your turtleneck. Except maybe spots of chocolate milk.

Still beautiful after all these years.

Isabella Rossellini is so pretty. I used to tear pictures of her out of fashion magazines, when I was in junior high school and preparing to cut my very long hair into a short 'do. I would look at her face and envy it. And when I saw her in movies, I would swoon a little bit. Especially in Cousins, when she shows up wearing the spitefully-bought hat and says, "Hi," in the cutest possible way. The theme song from that movie (Angelo Badalamenti) makes me feel like it's summertime. I will avoid listening to it until I've had a chance to soak up more of the wintry feeling I'm soaking in. But when I listen to it again, I'm sure I will be capable of flying.

I fall behind all the time. But I like to catch up all at once. Sometimes it seems sort of spectacular. Sometimes it just seems like a lot of puff. Either way, it lets me get back out in front of the train, where I must run very fast.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 8:49 PM | Back to Monoblog


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     Nov 7, 2004

Sentiment Sandwich

I didn't make it to Kevin's party until around three a.m. I spent the earlier part of the evening meeting up with Josh and his pals, going to see Colder at The Echo, and then figuring out reasons not to wrassle. There were only a stalwart few left when I arrived and tossed my boozy offerings in the cooler. But that's all right. I don't always like having to make myself heard above the din. And there were still plenty of reasons to stay and chat and do the bottoms up gesture.

It's been an unusual week. And though I might like to say a great deal about why that is the case, I also feel as if the moment has passed. Let that be a lesson to you. When something occurs to you, say it. Waiting only allows you to reconsider. And sometimes that is the worst possible thing.

Muppets Take Manhattan was playing on the television when I left the house, and it was playing many hours later when I got back home. It's a persistent reminder that I can still manage to feel nostalgic, even when I have attempted to cauterize every possible vein and synapse. I'll think more on that later.

My phone was ringing off the hook tonight. I love that.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 5:39 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Nov 2, 2004

Forever Yours, Nocturnal Me

I am wide awake.

You know what song I love an especial lot these days? Ocean by Sebadoh. I bought Harmacy when it first came out, and it continues to be among my most favorite albums. And every time I hear Ocean, I feel its jaunty melody bouncing in my brain, and I love the contrast of the cheerily sad lyrics. Residue of resignation. I bought that album years and years ago. In so many respects, nothing has changed. I would revisit that past if I had to, but there wouldn't be much point. I would still have Bill Clinton as my president and health insurance as my failsafe. But the rest is all just an expanse of beige. The details have eroded. Like bumps of braille in the erotic passages of a novel for the blind.

Anyway I like the song as much now as then. And I like people to read the lyrics to songs I like and go, "Yeah."

So you think you're in the middle of the ocean
Stranded on an island of your own?
Or stuck on the top of a mountain,
Either way you're gonna say you're all alone.

And I hesitate to say that you're a liar
I never tell the truth myself.
But I tried to chase you down and I got tired
So I'm leaving you to be with someone else.

'Cause you never wanna hook up in the middle
And I'd meet you there to talk if you would show
But you answer every question with a riddle
And refuse to even choose to let me go.

It used to be I'd tell you all my secrets
Giving you the credit you deserved
I guess you didn't care to lose or keep it
And we never quite connected from the first.

And I wish I had a way to make it better
To rearrange the world and make you smile.
But it's dumb to even think I had that power
And we haven't been that close in a while.

And I don't even wanna try to name it
Explain it for the one who couldn't care
'Cause all that matters is the way you choose to frame it.

I hesitate to say that you're a liar
I never tell the truth myself.
But I tried to chase you down and I got tired
So I'm leaving you to be with someone else.

'Cause you never wanna hook up in the middle
And I'd meet you there to talk if you would show.
But you answer every question with a riddle
And refuse to even choose to let me go.


And still, that melody makes me want to go sailing. In a little boat. The kind that won't stave off seasickness but that can be managed by a party of two. I would make sandwiches for such an outing. And they would be delicious even if they got all wet.

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posted by Mary Forrest at 6:14 AM | Back to Monoblog


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To the Archipelago

I almost forgot to gush about the Sci-Fi Channel's creation of an Earthsea mini-series. I don't know if it will be any good, but I'm glad someone remembered that Ursula K. Le Guin has genius in her blood. And right after I saw the promo for the series, a commercial for something unimportant had Mendelssohn in its soundtrack, and I thought -- in a Frankenstein voice, "Commercial interruptions good." It is easy as fuck to make my day.

My dog is sitting on my lap and just stuck her nose down my shirt. Don't tell anyone.

posted by Mary Forrest at 5:00 AM | Back to Monoblog


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Mnemonic Devices

The bartender at the Derby used my name every time he spoke to me tonight. Every time he checked in on me, took my drink order, or just said howdy. I figure it's a good way -- in that profession -- of both making sure you remember people indelibly and of coaxing them into a lavish tip. "He's said my name so many times, I guess we're friends now. And I wouldn't want any friend of mine to know how cheap I really am," they might be encouraged to think. Well, it worked, I suppose. I always tip mightily, but this time I think I redefined "gratuitous." Ironic epilogue to that story: I can't remember his name to save my life.

My friend Maya O'Migh was shaking her groove thing burlesque-style, and Josh and I went along to cheer for her and to be intoxicated. I took scads of pictures. So many that I actually drained my camera battery completely, which seldom happens. Afterwards, Maya and I enjoyed unhealthful fare at Swingers. She is exceptional and glorious in many ways. What a bonus. I only just met her recently, but I have pictures of her that I took at the very first Lucha Va Voom back in August of 2002. I should dig those up. It will be like a time capsule. And if you have a time capsule that doesn't have a volcano goddess in it, your time capsule is crap.

Getting to know someone is somehow like rounding a corner. You can always mark that point and think back to a time when you didn't know them, but that time is around the bend and at an angle so that you can't easily see it. It's easy enough to remember a day when you didn't know them but a much harder task to remember how not knowing them made you feel. I'm collecting meaningful friendships like Fisher-Price people that fit into the peg holes in the Fisher-Price school bus. They are all brightly-colored, and they all fit perfectly. And the more of them there are, the less the early boarders look like a busload of retards.

posted by Mary Forrest at 4:25 AM | Back to Monoblog


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     Nov 1, 2004

Daylight Going at Fire Sale Prices

Nearly all of my important clocks are network-managed. My cable box. My cell phone. My computers. It's easy and painless to transition out of daylight savings. And I catch myself thinking, "Dumb kids of today. They don't even have to learn to set their clocks back. Why, in my day..." When did I turn into an adult. And a cranky one at that. What suckness.

So I didn't actually get to dress up this Halloween. Everything was up in the air, and then the next thing I knew I was performing in San Diego on Saturday night, and that was that. It wasn't a curse in any way. The shows were smasheroo, and I had a great time. Even in -- and maybe especially in -- Oxygen Deprivation, the game where one player at all times has to have his or her face submerged in a basin of water. I ruled that game. I almost wish we could play it more than once a year. And I love our Thriller ending. Love it love it love it. I can forgive many of Michael Jackson's transgressions solely on its basis.

After the shows, I met friends at Brians', where I drank jungle juice from a Big Gulp cup and watched the endless parade of questionable costumes on the gay, the transsexual, the straight who are cool with it, and the straight who don't know any better. Late, late in the night, two police officers sat down to their meal, and I checked for their adam's apples before deciding they were, in fact, the law. They were. But they didn't hassle me. Even though I kept sipping from my cup and eyeing them rebelliously.

So, here's something that occurred to me the other day when I was driving in the suburbs and saw a pair of hot teenage hipster dudes crossing the street. Maybe the reason the fashion comes around again on such a dependable cycle is so that women in their 20s and 30s will find themselves nostalgically and irresistibly attracted to fifteen year-old boys who are, of a sudden, wearing the same tight, boot-cut cords and Op shirts and feathery haircuts that adorned the cool boys in their grade schools. At least that's how it seems to be working for me. And the dangerous part about that is that those fifteen year-old boys have no aversion to sending me messages on MySpace asking if I'm into younger dudes. So many lines to be crossed. So little bail money.

Well, I'm a little sad that I didn't get to put together a slammin' costume for this year's festivities. I was looking forward to seeing how much easier it is wearing wigs with my shorter hair. Maybe I will throw a New Year's Eve masquerade. And when no one comes to it, maybe I will hang myself with a belt.

I'm a bit sore and bruised from Saturday night's goings on. Which, in my case, involved breakdancing and falling dead from a standing position multiple times. I could have guessed that breakdancing would hurt. But now I can expertly testify about it in court. I need to learn a few new moves, though. The lower part of my spine has nearly been rubbed raw.

Vote for John Kerry tomorrow. Vote for anyone, obviously. But if you want to earn points with me, vote like a person who is smart and vote for John Kerry. We can all celebrate in the democratic hot tub on Wednesday. But only if you do the right thing. I'm not sitting in a hot tub with a lot of Republican pee.

posted by Mary Forrest at 8:50 PM | Back to Monoblog


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