Sunday, July 31, 2011

Edinburgh in the Mist

I love how even on grey, misty summer days, the colors in Edinburgh (other than the sky) are still so vivid. Our biggest sightseeing day while the New York girls were here was just such a day. today. I'm glad they got the foggy Scottish weather and not just the beautiful sunshine though. I wouldn't want them to have a false impression. Haha. 

It was so chilly, I needed the soft comfort of a Fat Face sweatshirt I've had my eye on. I think the weather was good medieval ambience for when we went to the castle (my first time back in about seven years) I took pictures anyhow, but the iphone cam just can't do what my canon could do. Good thing I'll have a brand new Nikon D3100 waiting for me when I get to NYC. Beautiful HD, I can't wait to take you for a test drive. 

Three more sleeps 'til NYC! Happy Birthday to the beautiful Erin! I miss you every day!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ryann's Youth Hostel

This post is late because I've felt the need to just be lazy today. I've had a constant stream of visitors to the point where I feel like I've opened a youth hostel. Even my beloved room is full and I'm on the couch. 

I love hosting everyone and seeing everyone, but all combined, and back to back, I needed to have a day with no tourist activities. Hope you're having as relaxing a Saturday as I am. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Hat Friday- Miriam Robertson

For years, I've been on a quest to become a hat person. It hasn't been easy with the mess of curly hair that I have. Living amongst Brits has certainly helped though, because (as anyone who watched the royal wedding knows) Brits have a much more extensive flair for hats. (Before you bring it up, Americans, the tendency to wear baseball hats does not count.) 

More than even just the variety of quality products, there are simply more occasions where it's acceptable to wear a hat. And the lovely milliners making bespoke head ware are to be highly valued! We are not just talking about gluing ribbons on hats, here. 

My friend Miriam, of Miriam Robertson Millinery is definitely one to note. (Seriously, she's so adorable. She's half French and half Scottish.) I just saw these lush gorgeous photos of some of her new stuff and am brainstorming how soon I can flat iron my hair and get to an outdoor event worthy of one of them . 

Her website is just lovely and has little numbers for occasion wear and day wear. (I'm in love with some of those!) Also in day wear-- if you still just can't bring yourself to take the leap into statement head dressings-- are some awesome headbands, etc. Check it out and have a great Friday! 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Unicorn Plan-It

Listen, even after watching this video, I still have pretty much no idea what the deal is with the "ho bag" OR what this actual product is going to be about, or be like, but I do know this: if Ashley Reed and Haviland Stillwell are involved, I'm pretty sure I want to watch it. And I agree with them that there should be a webseries about something "other than frat boys and girls who want to talk about purses."

And I know this! It premieres next week. So check it out. And sidenote.... if I were to ever get a tattoo (let's be real, I won't, but if I did) I would want Ashley's NYC skyline tat. Love it!

My NYC girls are here in Edinburgh, so we're off to explore. Hope you're having a great day!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Robyn Covers Coldplay

I'd have Robyn remix pretty much anything. This Live Lounge was great. Gosh, she's adorable.  Enjoy on this Wednesday. Only one week until I'm back in the New York groove. See you there!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Last night, I saw the first film of 2011 that I truly loved. It was pretty much everything I wanted in a movie. It felt French, it felt kind of Woody Allen (not too much)  but mostly it felt like the kind of American I consider myself to be. I laughed in a free kind of way that made me feel like I was at home again and made me miss where I was born: Los Angeles. 

I think Ewan McGregor is pretty much always perfect, and here is no exception, giving costume party-goers analysis as Sigmund Freud, even though he's grieving the loss of his father, and seeking solace in a dog named Arthur and a French actress named Anna (Melanie Laurent of Inglorious Basterds awesomeness) who asks him on paper (she has laryngitis) "Why are you at a party if you're sad?"

Really stealing the show, however, is the bright-eyed, almost child-like Christopher Plummer. It was almost inconceivable that I could like the man immortalized on screen singing "Edelweiss" anymore than I already did, but as Hal, the father who came out at age 75, I just wanted to adopt him for my own.  

And Mike Mills, I'm watching you. If you keep writing and directing movies this good, you'll have a fan for life in me. See this film!  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Slice of Monday

The dude abides. A recipe for White Russian cake. Delicious. (We had an interesting discussion of the word "dude" this weekend. Say what you want, but I'll probably never phase it out thanks to The Big Lebowski.)

-I agree. Don't give terrorists a platform for their message. 

-Dorky BBC 1 DJ Greg James does a tribute Robyn's amazing "Call Your Girlfriend" video. I laughed. 

-How about a vacay here? Monachyle Mohr is a boutique hotel where Taylor will work come fall. It's pretty isolated and they catch all the food on the property and cook it fresh daily. Let's go visit!

-Speaking of Caucasians, An interesting article (and lively commentary afterward) deconstructing James Taylor's "Whitest Guy in Music" legacy

-On that note, how, I ask you HOW could a Jay-Z and Kanye track called OTIS, sampling the perfection that is Otis Redding, as an homage to Otis Redding be THIS BAD?? Oh. Kanye. That's how. I was elated. The potential! And then I was so so depressed. It hurt my ears. The screaming.  Just listen to "Try a Little Tenderness" instead.  Here's hoping your Monday is better than this. 

-Like maybe this instead. Get into some Fado. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rest in Peace, Amy Winehouse

This track is still just perfection. Perfect for a second sunny day in Edinburgh in a row. Always lots of reminders to enjoy everything while it lasts. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sunset from Calton Hill

Went on a little walk yesterday. Caught this amazing sunset from the monuments on Calton Hill. 'Twas beautiful. I highly recommend. Hope you're having a fabulous Saturday!

Friday, July 22, 2011

More Mora

Remember when I said that this guy was something special? To mark my words, he was going to blow up? Well, it turns out that the day after I said that, he did. (Seriously watch that.) It was the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona. The whole day was hailed as a disappointment except for David Mora

He was gored twice. Once in the thigh and once in the armpit.  And it made me genuinely frightened. I actually thought, "What if I lose him!?"-- as though I actually knew him. But that's just the thing: I feel like I do. 

Despite my many conflicting emotions about the corrida, ('fight'-- bullfight, bullfighter-- 'fight' has never been the right word and never the word they themselves use) David Mora makes you reconsider the whole thing. Much like Enrique Ponce was for AL Kennedy while she was writing On Bullfighting, watching David Mora is the closest the corrida gets to a religious experience. (Enrique Ponce, as it turns out, was David Mora's sponsor in his alternativa.) And I think religion is an appropriate way to discuss it. Because I was raised Buddhist, so I don't have an attachment to the deeply ceremonial aspects of, say, Catholicism. But there are some churches, some cathedrals, and some sermons that I have heard by some priests and some reverends that make believe and understand. 

David Mora is someone who makes you love something that repelled you, and see something by seeing it the way he sees it. 

Without needing to know anything about cape work or rules, you can see-- even I could see!-- from the very first, that he was just plain better than everyone else. Listen to the audiences. Even in the last year or two, he's banished from himself those last flourishes of ego, of strutting. He's all business, and all love. Even with his ass hanging out, even when he went up against the Miura bull, his grace makes everyone else around him look like a hack, like a strutting peacock. Anytime I see a clumsy step or pass, a scurry, I know it's not my David.

Odd, I know. To say "mine." But as soon as I made him Aries Brio, he became mine. 

I can't tell you how many videos I've watched, how many websites I've translated. I feel like I could spot his work anywhere. Turns out, matadors are sort of difficult to get in touch with. But I really want to interview him. Like really. I found out his agent is Antonio Tejero, but haven't figured out a way to contact that guy. Anyone know? Can anyone help? (Bernardo Cubria, I mean you!) 

Watch for yourselves and see. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tree of Life

Always late to the picture show, I just finally saw Tree of Life last night. As soon as I heard about it, and the polarizing reactions it was causing, I knew I wanted to see it. Plus, the whole parent/child push/pull business. Anything that makes you ask, "where is the line that crosses over into child abuse?"... that's a story for me! 

Even the projects I work on which aren't overtly about children (Nic & Alix, Tercio de Muerte, Muse of Skye) have huge huge portions of them all about children. And then there's the stuff that I'm known for-- the stuff that is 100% revolving around childhood. 

So it comes as no surprise to me that I found the most success parts of Tree of Life to be the simplest parts-- the parts that just told a story with three brilliant child actors (Laramie Eppler, the kid who played the middle brother especially was a heavenly precious angel!) and their parents. Jessica Chastain is appropriately luminous and Brad Pitt proves once again that, as far as physicality goes, there's pretty much no actor who can touch him. Everything honest in his performances is rooted in physicality. This time, with a sturdy gait and locking of the jaw that bordered on an underbite. Everything was clenched. He held everything a little too tight, including his sons.

In those scenes (the bulk of the middle of the film) I didn't mind how impressionistic it was because I understood the function as reflecting the nature of memory and because the impressionism didn't come at the expense of telling a story about characters that we were given a reason to care about. 

It asked a lot of us to get through to that section of the film, however. Because before we get to really see the family who we're told/shown has experienced a tragic loss (in a brief [yet slow!] intro, before we've been with them long enough to invest in their struggles, we sit through almost twenty minutes of the creation of the universe with breathy, yearning Biblical quotes voiced over.

To be fair, they were some of the most majestic images I've ever seen. But after about 10 minutes, I kept having the urge to move my mouse and wake the screen up from the most beautiful Mac screen saver ever. Here's why that asked a lot-- not just of patience, but of story telling:

It felt like a short cut. There was a spike-- hey, look, a family who is grieving. That's it. Just know someone died. You know what that's like, right? Now just supply your own experiences and think about those while we remind you of that colossal quality of life and death and destruction and creation. It asked the audience to do the heavy lifting, but we didn't yet care about the family. And you need to care about them (and you will-- later). 

We end up talking a lot in creative writing about whether you've "Earned" certain things or not. Tree of Life had not "earned" that most epic flashback to the creation of earth. And it didn't even need it. As I said, the film was most successful zoomed in, focused on the characters, and a piece about memory. As a writer, I'm sort of dying to know what that screenplay reads like...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Hour

Every time I start to feel that sad, depressing lack of a costume drama, BBC is right there to help and help me procrastinate with a new series. And they're really bringing out the big guns with The Hour. Set in the 50's at BBC, it stars Ben Whishaw (endeared to me for having played my cosmic boyfriend John Keats in Bright Star) as shit-starting television journalist trying to get the BBC to cover real stories instead of debutante engagements. While covering one of those debutante engagements, he puts his foot in a murder conspiracy. 

Elsewhere, he's putting his foot in his mouth while trying to climb the television production ladder. He doesn't know at first, but his best friend/love-interest (Romola Garai) has already secured the producer gig he wanted (ooh, and she's a lady! Let's just say there are a few echoes of Mad Men here) on a new topical news program the Beeb is launching.  Freddie-- that's Ben Whishaw's name on the show, but let's be real, he's just Keatsy as far as I'm concerned-- won't play by the rules, so Lady-Producer Bel (Garai) is forced to spend what little political capital she has to get him hired. (Good news since he pisses off his stick-in-the mud boss at their old news desk job and gets sacked.)

Luckily for Bel, she has a knack for attracting unavailable powerful men, and-- good news for both Bel and Freddie-- she caught the attention of the new host of said news program, (called "The Hour" after something Freddie said in his exuberant pitch) Detective Jimmy McNulty...I mean, excuse me, Dominic West, as Hector Madden. 

But let's face it: Dominic West is always best when he's being Jimmy McNulty. Here, he has shades of that-- the rebellion, the drinking, the womanizing, the charming mischievous eyes. But he leaves the "giving a shit when it's not your turn to give a shit" to Freddie. Passing that baton could great, or they could drop the ball with The Hour. We'll see. I've got 5 more episodes to look forward to... and let's just say, I'm looking forward to them quite a lot. 

For more, click here. If you're in the UK, watch the first episode here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Meet our Director!

The show is now fully cast and tickets are selling fast! (Can you tell I spend a lot of my time writing things that rhyme?) TUTS has also just posted an interview video with our director, Illich Guardiola. I cannot tell you how curious I am to see what someone makes of a world of my creation without ever meeting me. It's a big, exciting question mark-- one which will play out starting very very soon. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Links

If you thought there might be two days in a row of nice weather in Scotland, you thought wrong. On the upside, with only three streets in St Andrews, you're bound to run into people, like I did with my pal Adam Kay-- who may or may not be starting his third (THIRD!!) PhD at Oxford and we had a nice creative/philosophical catch up over coffee. 

That's why I'm back in E'burgh so late, and why, if I plan on getting this pelmet made (watch out, I now have a glue gun) I'm going to hit you with some sweet links instead of writing anything coherent (assuming you think that what I normally write is coherent). 

-What happens when an email goes unanswered? These ideas about the internet continue to fascinate me. “The Internet is something very informal that happened to a society that was already very informal.” Word. 

-More thought provoking stuff from the On the Human Series. This time, about the sacred and the humane

-Sure wish I could see my pals Andrew, Courtney & Adam rock it out as Omar, Aladdin & Jasmine in Disney's Broadway aimed production of Aladdin

-I still love This Recording, even though their attempts to replace Molly Lambert aren't much to write home about. (Because you cannot replace her. She is marvelous.) Nevertheless, I have to wonder why they keep re-publishing this story about Grace Kelly being a slut. It was interesting. But back off. We got it. It's like the third new title for it. 

-I like this house!
-Hey, it's my professor, writing from Greece for Granta. 
-This might be my new favorite blog for mindless pretty photo scanning. Scroll down with me and say "Ooooh."
-And finally, the official video for Washed Out single Eyes Be Closed. Not sure I would have gone this direction, but oh well: Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunny Sunday in St Andrews

Here are things I'm excited about today besides the sunny weather. 

The first stills are out from the God of Carnage film. I'm excited about the casting. This was one of my favorite things I saw on the Broadway in all 5 years I was seeing everything. I saw all three casts. I can't wait to see Kate Winslet upchuck on those tulips. 

Michael Riedel said something nice about someone! I'm sure glad it was my friend and favorite, Duncan Sheik and his new show The Nightingale. I'm sad to be missing this one at Vassar. 

Celebrating Marfa, Texas. (Boy, am I pumped to get some Texas time in this September.)

Because I just can't stop decorating, I'm planning on doing this to my bookcase. The turquoise. But a little darker. 

Maybe in my next round of decor, or next house, I'll work up the courage for wallpaper

Hope you're having a sunny Sunday!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

This housewife thing I've got going on is out of control

I've mentioned that I feel like I am my own housewife. In a way, I am loving it. In another way (the way where I spend hours looking at expensive crockery instead of writing my dissertation) I am scared of myself. 

But it's true. I saw this amazing turquoise Staub cookware at (duh) Anthropologie and was lusting after it. How did no one tell me about Staub before? Am I the only one who didn't know about this stuff? I was imagining all the baked eggs and other fun Frenchy things I'd make in the various sized pots when I picked up the smallest and cutest one and nearly choked to death. NINETY POUNDS!?! 

I'm sure it's worth every penny, but for the time being, it has shattered my Stepford wife daydreams. Which is probably for the best, right? I don't think writers are supposed to know how to cook.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Can we draw the line at asking underage actors to pay for the privilege of NYMF?

There is an atmosphere that's been surrounding the festival process in New York for some time now, and I think it just reached its tipping point into scary.  Of course, I started to notice it from the inside, two years ago. We did Fringe, but had a lot of contact with all the festivals. Without getting too in detail, I'll say that I think the way that VOTE! and several other shows were handled during the Nextlink and eventual NYMF festival process was pretty unprofessional. I watched producers of shows in 99 seat houses wring their hands in worry as more and more fee invoices came their way. 

Then, last summer, there was the showdown between NYMF and the Dramatists' Guild last year about contracts and rights. See this. And even more specifically, this. (No, seriously. Read that.) Basically, NYMF was putting the burden of subsidiary rights and the entirety of development on writers. For TEN YEARS after a NYMF production. (More than real, actual commercial and non-profit productions-- like those at LORT theatres. More than the Public Theatre! More than MTC! Who actually put money into your show and under whose contracts you are typically guaranteed at least 21 performances to make money. Just read. )

And now, that burden-- and that attitude of burden-- of passing it to someone even more eager, even more green, with even fewer resources in the industry... has trickled down even further. Now, it seems, that writers and aspiring producers-- crippled by the startling and astronomical fees of developing their show,  are attempting to pass that buck to young, teenage actors from outside the New York area. A production is asking only the teenage actors (not the adults) to pay $300 to be their show. This is on top of another $2500 participation fee to be in New York. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Music Schizophrenia

...Is the theme of today's post. It matches the weather. Which is making me insane. Today it was supposed to be ugly. It's beautiful. But I'm working. Tomorrow, when it said all week it was going to be nice, now says it's going to rain all weekend. And I had planned to go play in the nice weather in St Andrews. I never thought I'd be excited to get to some suffocating, hot NYC or Vegas Summers, but bring it on. 

In the meantime, it's good to listen to Gaelic music to remember why I love it here. And to listen to crazy pop mash-ups because they allow me to (very briefly) remember being a West Coast teenager soaking up rays by a pool and riding around in Gia's BMW with the sun roof open, blasting music, the smell of grape lotion filling the air, with no where in particular to go.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New York Nostalgia

Considering I live in a nearly perpetual state of nostalgia, I'm often thinking about what my favorite places were like in other eras. I'd love to go down and look at some of the old city plans for Edinburgh to see how buildings were originally purposed. And New York is just opening a can of worms. There are about 7 different eras in NYC history that I'd love to be able to check out. But let's just call NYC from the 1940's-1970's one era and let's just say I'd like to go there. 

Thanks to these gems, we can just a little bit. Check out all of them in full size here (my favorite is the South Ferry Bums) at the Business Insider. Courtesy of Indiana University. 

Also, today it's time again for the numinous Manhattanhenge. I'm sorry to be missing it. Cities are beautiful, people!

1942: looking West on 42nd Street from 8th Ave. I used to work in that green building. So did Jackie Kennedy. 
4th Ave from Astor Place. My old neighborhood. My walk home everyday.
Nice to know some things stay exactly the same in New York. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wedding Voyeurism

One of the nice things about living on the top floor, nestled between two beautiful churches, is that there's some pretty decent people watching. From the folks who take dance lessons in the basement of St Stephens even to the occasional wedding. This Saturday, I got to spy on the wedding of a new friend of mine, Becca. (Her dad wrote this awesome book.)

Zeph was the maid of honor and was rocking a fierce combo of red Vivienne Westwood dress and purple heels. She's normally a black dress wearer, so it was a big step. From where I sat, in my window seat, I think it was a huge success. I only saw Becca's dress for a minute, but it was definitely classy and looked a bit vintage. The other notable fashion was the pint-sized ring bearer. Let's just agree that little mans in kilts are about as cute as it gets. 

It was another crazy storm day and let down a torrential, thunder & lightning pour during the ceremony which let up just in time for everyone to exit the chapel. That's got to be lucky, right? If Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house, and I can see weddings, what cool stuff can you spy on from yours?

I'm back to working on some serious posts for later this week, not to mention, all that other stuff. :) 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Estrella in the Rain

If you have to walk around in the rain and cold, even though it's July, I recommend listening to Estrella Morente and pretending you're in Spain. I do this often, and I think it helps. Here's some Tangos de Pepico for your Monday. Estrella Morente is the daughter of another famous Flamenco singer, Enrique Morente, and as it happens has been married to a pretty famous bullfighter, Javier Conde, since she was 21. 

Javier Conde, as it happens, looks more like a movie star than your average bullfighter. In fact, was in Hable Con Ella, one of my faves. He also participates in the bloodless bullfighting they've been doing in Las Vegas, where the peones stick velcro spears to the back of the bull. That is some crazy dangerous stuff right there

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My perfect Edinburgh flat

It's not mine yet, but it is for sale. I link you to it now, not so that you can steal it from me (so don't go getting any big ideas) but so that, in case you are rich and feeling really generous, or just especially fond of me, you can perhaps purchase it for me. 

It's on India Street in Stockbridge. The views! The angles! It's my perfect blend of old Edinburgh and modern. And even though I have a hard time imagining myself ever having white walls, this place at least makes me think that it's possible. 

Hope you're having a beautiful Sunday!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Adele sings my favorite song

In case you missed this, here is another fave of mine covering my favorite song. Thankfully, (unlike Bon Iver's cover) Miss Adele does not disappoint. That being said, I do wish she'd done a few more variations. Hope you're having a lovely Saturday. It's storming here again. (Shocker!) This song on just a piano is a pretty good song for weather like this and 8 hours of writing. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Magical. Or Disgusting. Few things in the world spark such a difference of opinion. Maybe marriage.

 One of the many reasons it pays to make friends on the subway is that when your camera-- with all your photos from the bullfight you attended (alone!) for research on your amazing matador dance musical-- when that camera is stolen (along with your whole purse) from a Baixa coffee shop patio, these friends you made on the subway, who attended the very same corrida at Plaza de Toros Las Ventas Madrid on June 19, 2011 will graciously email you all of theirs.

And I needed them. Because what is available for seeing in all the glamourous photos on ESPN stories, and the youtube clips, are primarily concerned with images like the ones above. (Though, I'll get to him in a minute.) But when I walked into the plaza and to my front row Sol seat and my hot as hell rock slab to sit on (1. The cheap cheap seats were sold out 2. I live in Scotland-- I figured, bring it on, sun. Just bring it on.) I was thinking: who gives a shit about the matadors. I've watched them countless times on TV. I've read every book on corridas ever written. I know their deal. 

I want to know about the other guys. I wanted to look at their faces: the peones as they scurry behind burladeros to protect themselves, the guys with their trumpets up in the bandstand, the novilleros, the ticket takers...all those guys. What happens when they go home?I wanted to know who those little guys are. So I did a lot of watching them.

At least, in the beginning, that's what I did. I will tell you that the first 45 minutes in that plaza (I was early) were some of the most uncomfortable of my life. After the disapproval of nearly all my friends, I was: sitting on hot rock slab, my water bottle was already gone, (so... was my cerveza) I didn't know anyone, the people who were around me were super obnoxious bro-dog /embracing-their-machismo American men (barf), the sun was blazing in my eyes, and even before Paseillo, before anyone rode out on horses, and before the first very sad-eyed, very gentle bull came out, I was....depressed. 

I was depressed because on every level and from every angle, especially a modern corrida asks you to contemplate death. Of course. The bull's death, the matador's death (if not today, then sometime), your own death, and the death of the very thing you are watching. I looked around at a nearly empty stadium and felt a dull sadness that didn't seem to belong to me. 

So during the middle of the first bull, I felt sick. I wanted to leave. This was the height of male machismo folly! You think you're tough? Taking ten guys, swords and spears, to kill one bull? It seemed more pathetic than anything else. There was nothing technically wrong with the way the first guy was in the ring... except that killing a sweet looking bull seemed not only NOT beautiful, but that somehow he managed to make the thing boring

The only thing moving, the only thing beautiful was the bull. And as they hitched the dead toro to a cart and dragged him out of the stadium, I started to think about what that would mean for my show. My show, in which you never see a bull (because...just no). In which the bull is replaced by music and by the idea of these three women in his life, who turn the tables on my matador, Nico "Aries" Brio. I thought back to the quote that opens my show: 

“It may seem foolish to speak of almost killing an animal such as a fighting bull with a cape. Ofcourse you could not, but…you could lame the animal and, by abusing its bravery, force it to charge uselessly, again and again. It is the effort made [by the bull] that kills it.”
–Ernest Hemingway
David Mora

 And then, something magical happened. A truly cantankerous bull came barreling out of the Gate of Fear to meet David Mora (that guy above) and all of a sudden, there was a corrida. Not only that, there was my Aries Brio, and there was my show. Something about this David Mora... Just middle of the ticket, but serious, graceful, daring, an entertainer, dimples, ego you were happy to accept. All of it. He made that shit look good. And everyone bought it. Including me. 

They gave him the ear of that first bull and he did a little lap around the plaza, tossing the ear, his hat, whatever he had at people in the audience and they'd toss it back to him. The dimples, the way he touched his hair, I swooned a little. I thought, "That is my guy."Sex.eeee.

You see, I'm a pretty feminine writer. I always know who the women in the story are, and often, I access the men by way of the women. So I've largely been writing around him and waiting for some tangible detail to lock him into focus. Thank you, David Mora, for making me get it. And for making me feel that amazing mix of conflicting emotions that are the exact elixir I want people to feel when they one day sit in a theatre and watch Tercio de Muerte. How the onstage seating will slowly trickle off stage. How when they come back from intermission, half as many people will still be there. I want them to feel depressed. And sick. And bored (just a little...or maybe frustrated) and elated, and hysterical and turned on, and ashamed that they're turned on, and superstitious and worried and connected to something primal, and confused about why they feel connected to it. 

I don't think there are any lit terms in English that are as good as the terms in other languages. Nothing as good as mono no aware. Definitely nothing as good as duende. But I felt all that. Which is to say, if you let it, the corrida is a dramatic universe so rich in texture, that it is capable of activating in you-- and causing you to questions the origins of-- almost every emotion you have. The collision that results is why you go. 

**Please, please read wonderful Scottish novelist A.L. Kennedy's book On Bullfighting. One of the most vulnerable, honest and compelling reads ever. Also, Death in the Afternoon remains, for all its Hemingway-ness marvelous. Read these. For video of what I saw, check out here. Google chrome will translate these pages for you.

Why Stop Now?

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