Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy halloween from princess tigerlily

Pretty much the only person in the world who can make me celebrate halloween is Emily, so it's safe to say that I had no costume this year. I looked for pictures from this one great halloween where I was Glinda and a Gucci Model (Costume A and B-- for historical significance, please see the following) and Emily was a geisha and a dead doctor. (Also, Evan was Kim Jong-Il in a revelatory turn! Pure brilliance! He was like 12 at the time.) Anyhow, I couldn't find those pictures-- depressing-- but who needs all that when you can just have Princess Tiggggga! 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

sex and death and pick up trucks

I'm (slooooowly) working on my literary essay about the Yeats quote, "I am still of opinion that only two topics can be of the least interest to a serious and studious mood - sex and the dead."

I'm also working from the Keats quote (obviously) in his letter to Fanny Brawne, "I have two luxuries to brood over in my walks, your Loveliness and the hour of my death. O that I could have possession of them both in the same minute. "

Basically, I know the direction I want to take the essay, but I'm not set on which texts I want to talk about though. I have a stack here, but nothing is really calling my name as the perfect answer. Thoughts? Which texts would be good? Any ideas, you guys? 

On that note, I'll leave you with this song and some fabulously almost applicable lyrics. I'm a big ol' pacifist, but there is something sexy about a man willing to kick someone's ass for you:

And in the moonlight I fought him down
All kickin screamin & rolling around
A little piece of a bloody tooth
Just so you know I was thinkin of you

Friday, October 29, 2010

lincoln is a hatchet-faced nutmeg dealer

I love making fun of politics! Also, I like that this ad uses the f's for s's... Jacob was talking about that in class on Thursday in relation to John Donne's The Flea... 

the john burnside quote series

Blogging late today. Whoops. kind of got lost in a windy day. Watched a movie, went on a very windy walk and spent some time in a playground swing as big as me. I guess it was more like a hammock. Funny how I really hated windy days in Vegas or New York, but here, I love them. 

Anyhow, I decided earlier this week, as the margins of my class note books have started to get littered with little gems from my advisor, that I should do something to honor them. I think my program supervisor has a really wild sense of humor that I find particularly hilarious and pretty much every class, he says some little life phrase I write in my margins to remember. I'm guessing I'll try to post one or two of them weekly or every other week. 

For today, I'll give you this one from Tuesday. Enjoy! Happy Friday!

"males are only really sane for a brief period during their mid-life crisis..." 
--John Burnside

Thursday, October 28, 2010

lounging and reading

What a week! Even just making it to today, I feel about 10 pounds lighter. Tonight is closing night of our Ten by Ten plays. I'm planning on filming it, so perhaps I'll post it on the old youtube, and obviously then, here as well. 

 I'm looking forward to getting back to some fiction. I have about 12 short story ideas I'm fleshing out right now. I have that little essay to write too. Since I never have any time on Thursdays, here is my round up of stuff from the internets. 
Loved the acoustic version of "Indestructible" of Robyn's Body Talk Pt. 2, so was very enthusiastic to hear the dance version on Body Talk Pt. 3. Video came out today. 

Speaking of where she chose to launch this, Myspace is getting a complete redesign, repurposing. Do I agree with this article? Not sure. Do you?

Proud to be from Vegas, America's stupidest city, according to The Daily Beast.

A study on candy as a guilty indulgence from the NYTimes. I hear that. I've been on a mission to rot out my teeth for a long long time. You don't get a nickname like Cake Fatty for nothing. 

On that note, I helped make a cake this week. It's been a long time since my baking days, so still not sure how this Victoria cake actually tasted, but it's the thought that counts, right?

The always fantastic, Allie Brosh.

Want to live in Monarch's House in St Andrews? Why, yes I do!

AMAZING! Watch Steven and Haviland on The Apprentice tonight! I remember when this little television show was filmed. It's the last time the three of us were all together. Sigh.

There's two things I want in my room here at Deans Court: a tall book shelf, and a truly lounge-worthy narcolepsy couch. I even know exactly where I'd put it if they'd let me have one. Which imaginary couch should I get-- if I could get one?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

st salvator's- day and night

Even growing up Buddhist, I have always loved being in churches. I don't find a lot of moments of stillness in my life and something about churches-- empty or full-- always seem the surest way to find them. I spent about half a novel, in RISE, talking about how it felt to be in all those churches in the summer of 1999. 

The tower of St Salvator's Chapel, here in St Andrews, dominates the Western skyline of North Street. Even when  you can't see it, you can hear its chiming bells. It's the medieval heart of St Andrews, according to our own website. And next November, it's where my classmates will gradate with our MLitts (I suppose I'll be back there a few years after that for the PhD.) It's from services there that red-robed undergraduates make their famous pier walks

It often looks unbelievable at night. Same goes for days. The chapel has a way of playing with  the light around it.  Taylor and I ducked in there during the day for a bit earlier this week.  I love all the details-- thistle hand rails, university emblems tucked here and there. One of these days, I'll make it to a service there. In the meantime, here's the full scoop. More pics after the jump.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

back in the theater

So... I have a play opening tonight. Weird. I guess you can take the girl out of New York...etc etc. It's been an interesting process-- completely different than I had expected, and different than any other theatrical writing experience I had been used to in New York. Even just not writing with Steven was weird. 

But I gotta tell ya... as soon as I got back in that theater, ooh, just the smell of 'em. The way I relax into my most-"me" self in a dark and almost empty space-- at the back.  The way just a few minimal Specials can make that stupid short play (that you hated by daylight) finally theater instead of just an exercise. The way it makes things feel real. The Byre is a great space. 

I remember what it was like the first time a great actor ever read my stuff in the exact way I envisioned it. And I remember the first time an actor ever read my stuff in a completely different and better way that I envisioned it. The best part of this, for me, has been to watch my new, awesome St Andrews friends have those moments right there. Being in the trenches together is one of my most treasured feelings. And anyone who's ever been in the trenches with me knows I don't forget it. 

This process brought out the producer in me a lot. The control freak. The lack of trust that anything would meet my standards, including my own writing. I'll probably never get away from that producer in me. I can dream as many dreams as I like on the remote-est and misty-est beaches of the North. But something will always pull me back to that call, "mobilize!" Put up the damn show. And it was nice to not actually have to hire each person, fire each person (as the case may be) make every decision, haul sets.... you get the idea. 

I don't know that Israel has managed to convince me that a play is harder to put up than a musical. I don't know that short plays will ever be my forte. I didn't even know until yesterday if I wanted anyone to see it. (Turns out, I do. Here is the info.) But I do know that I miss the crazy racket-- the late night nachos after not eating all day, the not being able to sleep (ok, that one was actually a bummer.) But that feeling is easy to miss.  At least a little bit. 

We saw Les Murray, world-famous Australian poet read here in St Andrews last night as well. We drank some wine with him afterwards. I'm not super familiar with Les Murray's work, but I couldn't help but feel that this one was appropriate. I think everyone who works in theatre can understand why. 

I starred that night, I shone:

I was footwork and firework in one,

a rocket that wriggled up and shot
darkness with a parasol of brilliants
and a peewee descant on a flung bit;
I was busters of glitter-bombs expanding
to mantle and aurora from a crown,
I was fouéttes, falls of blazing paint,
para-flares spot-welding cloudy heaven,
loose gold off fierce toeholds of white,
a finale red-tongued as a haka leap:
that too was a butt of all right!
As usual after any triumph, I was
of course, inconsolable.


Subhuman Redneck Poems, 1996

Monday, October 25, 2010

all is right with the world: i have a new costume drama

No matter who might tease me about my love, something about my life just feels incomplete when I'm not engrossed in a multi-episode costume drama. Luckily for me, I'm now in the land that invented the beautiful thing. Thanks to Sophie, I am addicted to the fabulous Downton Abbey

Another product of the amazing Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey starts just after the sinking of the Titanic. Hugh Bonneville (can you ever have enough? No.) is the father of three daughters (I'm wondering if they're taking this in the King Lear direction-- so far, with the daughters, it seems a possibility) and married to a rich American whose fortune has now been grouped with the estate's total worth thanks to an estate entail set up in the previous generation. Which would have been fine as long as their eldest daughter had married her cousin and heir to the title and total of estate. But, alas, he and his father were aboard the Titanic. 

So now the lot is set to pass to a total stranger upon dear Hugh Bonnville (Lord Grantham's) death. Odd loyalty pairings ensure. There's the whole upstairs/downstairs aspect. With wonderful turns from Maggie Smith (Already a delight in only the first episode) and Elizabeth McGovern (Still haunting my dreams from her childhood turn in the spookiest ever Shelly Duvall Faerie Tale Theatre's Snow White) it didn't take long for me to  start completely procrastinating on my life duties in order immerse myself. 

I don't know if you can stream iTV in the states, but if you can, you must. And if you can't, switch to UK itunes and download this sucker!

I mean, can we just talk about the melodrama that is the choir children version of "Every Breath You Take?"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

since we're remembering

Another dreamy thing for your Sunday. My favorite Pasek and Paul song (homies have a had a good year!) sung by the always impeccable Gavin Creel. I remember sitting next to Andrew & Jake while they filmed this concert. This one seemed to linger in the air a bit after it had finished, like we weren't quite ready to let it go. I think it's some of Benj's best lyrics as well. RIP, (Still) Zipper Theatre.

this childhood memory brought to you by sunday afternoon procrastination

This was my 5th birthday party. It's at the wharf restaurant where my mom was a waitress. That's my first best friend, Emily Dill on the left (I tend to gravitate towards people named Emily) & Mia my neighbor and partner in crime on the right. It's funny because almost all of my extremely vivid memories of childhood, come from this period of time when my mom and I lived with my great aunt Judy. 

You can tell from my face that this was a weird transitional time. (I've never  been very good with transitional times.) I missed Emily Dill, who still lived in the last town we had come from (one of the many towns my mom and I hit up on our California World Tour of Boyfriends and Lost Waitressing jobs) and Mia was not quite the replacement I'd hoped to find. 

Although, I came up with many door to door business ventures as a kid-- I had a candle-making business, I made art on my uncle's computer (a big deal to have access to one in 1987) and turned it into posters to sell. I'd go door to door with my little blonde ringlets & my song and dance routine about the posters (singing for  your supper-- having an adorable schtick or party trick-- being  the way I had learned you get love from adults) while Mia collected money and held the product. 

I made lots of money and somehow, she convinced me to give her a cut-- ??-- proving that even then, I was both enterprising and also a push over. Much like I still am.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

some tartan for your saturday

In my weekend posts, I like to talk about light-hearted things like shopping and design instead of writing or Buddhism or whatnot.  I love tartan all the days of the week, but Saturdays make me want to spend money, so I'm passing the feeling onto you while I go sit at one of my favorite cafes, North Point, and work on finishing my play. (which, mercifully, is no longer about a gangster.) Hopefully by Monday, I'll be proud enough of it to at least invite you to come to the Byre and see it next week. 

Also, a note. In North America, we tend to call tartan "plaid." But a plaid is actually a blanket or a sash, not the pattern itself.

While I work, you should think about buying these things:

Tartan iphone case-- I might actually get this one.
McC showed me this book and I ordered it on the spot. It's still my favorite coffee table book and I shipped it's bulky mass all the way here. Tartan + Romance in the title= yes.
I also enjoy this one, but have yet to purchase it.
A tartan car could be going a little too far. 

Here's some more We Were Promised Jetpacks for ya. 
Oh and while we're at it, let's add this little acoustic version of "Little Lion Man"

Friday, October 22, 2010

working for the weekend

Happy Friday! But wow, do I have a lot to do this weekend. Our plays open next week, my first big essay is due the week after that, always a ton of reading, and stuff to do for the upcoming concert of Steven's (and my) work. Plus, Sophie is coming to visit today, and really, I just want to hang out with her.

It's pretty rainy today, so maybe we'll just have a relaxed afternoon with tea and baby Adam. 

I've also been invited to go to the Isle of Skye for the first weekend of reading week (Nov 5-12th) with the lovely Iona (the person, not the island-- though I'm working on that as well). 

I'm super excited for that. For those of  you not familar with Skye, it's the largest and Northern most of Scotland's Inner Hebrides Islands off the Western Coast. There's some serious history which I am looking forward to exploring while I'm there. We're talking a lot of windswept romantic stuff here, guys. And a music festival! It's also traditionally a very Gaelic speaking place. Hopefully, I can pick some up!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

baby luke day

Now that Luke has started to get photographed, I can bombard everyone with amazing baby boy pictures in addition to the baby girl Tigerlily pictures. Our friend Brittany Rulis took this of Erin and Lukey. She grew up in Vegas with Erin and I, but we never knew her until Erin went to Pepperdine with her. She was also a bridesmaid in Erin's wedding and currently she's back in Vegas with her hubby and 2 adorable kids. Peeps in Vegas, check her out because she's a pretty badass photographer. Case in point, this photo of 2 of my favorite people on the planet:

UPDATE: Erin sends me this today. Prepare to melt.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

one month in st. andrews

Exactly one month ago, Dad and I were speeding down the road (and occasionally veering onto the shoulder) in the Mercedes station wagon, on the way to St Andrews. Now, I'm plotting my full three years here, even though so many of my friends won't be staying that long, excited about what I think the research portion of my dissertation will be (let's just say the connecting tissue between my novel and the research is literary friendships, and the research will focus on Franzen and David Foster Wallace.) And my advisor digs it. So that's good. 

I already wonder if I'll stay in St. Andrews for the PhD portion, or if I'll move into Edinburgh to get a flat. I try to remember a time when I liked writing plays. I wonder how I'll pay for everything, but only casually because I think worrying about money is a colossal waste of time. 

But that topic was the subject of the speaker we had last night. Apparently, the UK is about to make huge higher education budget cuts. St Andrews is in a better position than most (largely thanks to we rich Americans pumping our cash over here) so that's good. And let's face it, creative writers have never been particularly well funded by universities. We're not exactly curing cancer. 

Either way, what I think I'm saying is, that I'm here for the long haul. At least I'm trying to be. 

So buy your tickets if you plan on seeing me. We'll break into the Castle at midnight and look at the stars-- you can actually see them here. We may have to wear a sweater over our evening dresses, and Uggs, and still a coat, but once you hop the fence, it's worth it to see the moon reflecting off particularly violent waves. We can pretend get locked in the dungeon.  And when we come out and stand on the plateau overlooking the expanse that was once a complete fortress, we still won't be able to believe what people build in the hopes of protecting something permanently, only to burn down when we change our minds about what's worth protecting. 

it's our own little mafia.
"the bemused contempt of Kevin."

everyone loves Kevvy.  
Nick is a badass
PS- If you only get one song off Come Around Sundown, get "Pickup Truck."
PPS- I totally totally support this! I'm wearing purple today (not that I think anyone here understands why). It warmed my heart to see so many of my pals singing here in support of young gay folks around the world struggling to be accepted. It does get better. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

mad men season finale

I didn't really Mad Men until the end of Season 3. In fact, I think I hated it, but for some reason, I just kept watching. 

Here in Scotland, we watch Mad Men on Monday nights in my room on the big command center alpha computer. So last night, Kris and I watched, and weren't surprised....surprised isn't the word. But perhaps this is Weiner's excuse for bringing in the mob? (PS- how did I not know that creepy Glen Bishop is played by Weiner's kid?)

Even during this season, which was genuinely the first season where I cared, I still maybe looked forward even more to the This Recording recaps of the show. This week is no exception. 

Not that our ambitions even make logical sense most of the time. You would hate Jordan Catalano if he were your actual boyfriend, because he would be terrible to you, but that doesn't make the fantasy of "Jordan Catalano" any less intense. Low risks and easy rewards are just never that satisfying. High risk/high reward/high chance of horrible consequences. Why try unless there's a chance you will die? It's liberating to face death, and one way we cheat it is by making crazy spur of the moment decisions.

Likewise Dr. Faye is chasing a Don that nobody can even prove exists, a responsible Don that is so far purely theoretical. Don is totally kissing the mask with Megan and even she kind of knows he can't possibly be attracted to her yet for the person she really is. But she's young and maybe dumb enough to buy into the fantasy of their future Don is presenting her with, because Don sells fantasies. It's his job and his life.

Megan is fine but she is also the worst. It is every woman's nightmare that her ex that got away's next girlfriend will be an Anthropologie catalogue. She sings in French! If she were in 2010 she'd have bangs and live in a twee teepee in Brooklyn. Don likes her fucked up teeth because everyone likes a cute flaw on an otherwise physically perfect woman! Just like everyone likes a fucked up personality in a physically perfect man!

Off to listen to the new Kings of Leon (sorry Kris & Gretchen) and decide what I think about it. 

PS- Betty Draper. Wow, just wow. Terrible mother. But- addendum
My favorite part of the ep was when Sally spills the milkshake and Don starts to freak out (because he's always based his parenting reactions on the reactions of Betty and his "mother." Then he realizes women can just react calmly to things. I think that's actually the moment he decides to marry Megan. Anyhoo...)

Monday, October 18, 2010

here's why I'm always going to love my boss, KD

When we were rehearsing for ANY of the incarnations of VOTE!, one of the most expensive components was rehearsal space. We're talking hundreds and thousands of dollars spent over years. Which, for a show with a budget, is fine. But when you're young and self-funded composers, every dollar counts.

In the early days, Steven would prop up his keyboard on the arms of a big chair in his tiny apt and we would rehearse with people while his dogs barked in the background. And we would not have been able to afford VOTE! at Minetta Lane last year if it weren't for the generosity of Lori Klinger and Rosie's Broadway Kids

Which is why it warmed my heart to learn right before I left Davenport that with our expanding office space, one section would be a rehearsal space. And! That Ken would graciously be allowing new writers and projects to use the space for FREE! 

I feel very proud to have worked for that awesome company, and awesome mentor (the dude really is a visionary) like Ken. Hopefully, with this added resource, more people can go from here:
to HERE:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

autumn in scotland

There's lots to love about Scotland in the Fall. I haven't really been outside to take much of it in this week, due to the amount of work I've had, but very soon, I hope to experience some of this:

photos via The Cherry Blossom Girl
...enjoying everything in this lovely coat that, thanks to Emily's USA reconnaissance, I didn't have to pay for in pounds. Can't you just see me out on the moors in this?? It's actually very close to Ferguson tartan anyhow, so that's convenient. 

Other things filling my lovely days in Scotland include:

Thanks to Taylor, this Welsh guy-- he wrote poems or something? I kid.
We're going to try to go here. Castle + Brewery+ maze = awesome
What if I got a job at this clothing store?
I might try to wake up at 5AM Scotland time to watch this.

jónsi tour trailer from Jónsi on Vimeo.

Why Stop Now?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...